Hrodna Pharmacists Return to State Money for Foreign Medicines
According to RFE/RL
All prescriptions for this and the last year for have been checked by the State Control Committee. As a result of the ‘check-up’ the committee stated that in the case a pharmacist sold a medicine which is more expensive than its Belarusian analog which won the tender, he/she must compensate the difference from his/her wage. Before this Belarusian pharmacists thought that the sale of cheap medicines was just a recommendation, not obligation.
A correspondent of the European Radio for Belarus asked about this situation workers of one of Hrodna drugstores: ‘The state control came and told us to check the prescriptions for the last year. In the case a non-tender or non-Belarusian medicine was sold, the difference is calculated and it must be compensated by the pharmacist who sold it. We don’t feel guilty as we did not earn anything on it and did it just for the good of the ill people. However, from now on we will not sell more expensive medicines anymore. Let the doctors decide on it. In the case the prescription is international, we will sell either Belarusian or tender medicines.
‘What will you do if the cheap medicines end and somebody asks for foreign ones?’
‘We will not sell. We will contact the sells department, ask when the medicine will appear and tell it to the patient. What is left to us?’
The head of one of the drugstores called to the journalists the sum the pharmacists of this drugstore had already paid to the state budget: 167 900 rubles (about 80 US dollars), whereas the average wage in Belarus is about 250 dollars.
The order for selling only cheap medicines to the people was signed by the director of Hrodna unitary enterprise Pharmacia.
Now its is quite difficult for people to receive more expensive medicines which sometimes are of better quality, as doctors are also advised to prescribe cheaper analogs. In the case a doctor needs to prescribe an import medicine, he must summon an appropriate commission.
Hrodna pharmacists are indignant at the situation, but pay the money. A similar situation is observed in Vitsebsk, but there the pharmacists refuse to pay.