According to one version, the reason for the shortage is the failure of the drug labeling system, according to the other, the shortage of drugs provoked a rush in demand during the pandemic.
In a number of Russian regions, public figures record a serious shortage of drugs. There are not enough drugs from the list of essential drugs. They associate this with the drug labeling system, which has become mandatory since July.
Elena Popova is a disabled person of the first group. Several years ago, a resident of Novosibirsk failed two kidneys at once. Since then, she needs potent drugs, which are now not available in the city's pharmacies.
“These drugs have disappeared. There are analog imported drugs, but they cost 50 thousand per pack. I need three packs a month, but with my salary I can't afford even one,”the woman complains.
Elena is a lawyer in the past and decided not to give up. She herself can no longer hammer the thresholds of the authorities, she turned to public figures. It turned out that they have been working only on such complaints lately.
“For the last two weeks we have just received a flurry of appeals with the problem of obtaining medicines, with the problem of buying them in the city of Novosibirsk, because antibiotics have disappeared, medicines from the list of basic medicines have disappeared, and even thermometers have disappeared,” social activist Rostislav Antonov is surprised.
Barnaul, Omsk, St. Petersburg, Kemerovo, Irkutsk. According to public figures, there is a shortage of medicines in many regions of the country.
The experiment on compulsory drug labeling started back in 2017. From October 1, 2019, the procedure became mandatory for some drugs, and from July 1, 2020 - for all others.
“Our distributors, knowing that there will be problems, purchased in full. And we are now finishing up what was purchased before July 1. It seems that there are still some medicines, but in fact the shortage is growing,”said Alexander Saversky, president of the League for the Protection of Patients' Rights.
A two-dimensional barcode is applied to each package, it contains all the information about the product, which is transmitted to the drug monitoring and movement system. But the problem is that every movement of every package is tracked, manufacturers say.
“Can you imagine how many calls are made to this system every minute, hourly, daily. The market of the Russian Federation is estimated at a little more than six billion packs, so can you imagine how many calls should be made even before the release of a drug directly on the market,”said Yaroslav Narcissov, director of the medical research and production complex.
The introduction of markings was once supported by the business. They wanted to fight counterfeit, and as a result we got supply disruptions, the manufacturers say. The pharmaceutical market is a highly regulated industry with a whole charter of rules. Marking is another thing. Violation of which entails responsibility, and a technical failure in the system - blocks the market.
“We have a major accident, according to the operator, occurred on September 30, until the end all questions about it have not been resolved, as a result of this accident the codes disappeared, that is, what happened - the goods from the manufacturer arrived at the warehouse and the codes that were applied to it the system has disappeared and the system does not see this product, therefore it cannot move further into pharmacies, not return back to the manufacturer,”explained Viktor Dmitriev, General Director of the Association of Russian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers.
The pharmaceutical manufacturers' association does not know what to do about it.And they are already offering to return to the old control system - in the form of paper invoices. But in the Center for the Development of Advanced Technologies, where all the information on monitoring the movement of drugs is collected, we are sure that the problem of shortage is not in system failures.
Patients can also create a shortage of drugs. Those that indiscriminately buy pills. No indications or prescriptions. The Ministry of Health strongly recommends that you stop self-medication and not get carried away with antibiotics.
The increased demand for antiviral drugs and antibiotics in pharmacies in the heyday of seasonal diseases is often recorded. During a pandemic, even more so. And so that the excitement does not grow into a shortage, doctors advise not to buy medicines for future use.