New system for protecting medicines to be introduced in Transnistria
The health ministry of the breakaway republic of Transnistria takes special measures to protect the internal pharmaceutical market, Info-Prim Neo’s correspondent in Transnistria informs. In particular, there will be introduced a special barcode for the medical preparations coming from abroad and for the food supplements and hygiene objects. Specialists consider that this measure will reduce the illegal imports of medicines to a minimum. The barcode will provide information about the purchased medicine: the number of series, the results of the laboratory research, the results of the examination confirming that the product meets the accepted standards. This protection system must cover all the goods sold in the drugstores of the region until June 1, 2008. The barcode will be printed on decals that will be stuck onto labels by hand. The need to deal with the drugstores in Transnistria arose long ago. The last scandal in the region regarding the sale of counterfeit medicines and of drugs with the shelf life expired broke last summer. Members of the local legislature started an investigation into the activity of the health ministry. It was established that medicines with the expired shelf life worth about 187,000 Transnistrian rubles (approximately 220,000 Moldovan lei) were used in ambulatory medical institutions in Tiraspol, including in the oncological section of the clinical hospital in Tiraspol. They reached the given institutions through the ministry’s fault and were used to treat not only people suffering from cancer, but also children from boarding schools and prisoners. According to the commission that is investigating this case, the health ministry’s administration created preferential conditions for business activity as it entrusted the trade in medicines especially to the large pharmaceutical companies “Remedium” and “Diaprofmed”. 80% of the medicines sold in the region were made by the two companies and were by 30% more expensive than at similar companies. As the investigation showed, the MPs asked then the leader of the region Igor Smirnov to dismiss the minister of health Ivan Tkachenko, but the scandal was hushed up and the minister continues to work.