Soon Russians will be able to buy drugs in conventional supermarkets. It will happen if it is adopted developed by the Ministry of trade act, providing for the sale of OTC drugs in retail chains. It is expected that on March 1 it will be submitted for consideration to the government.
The Cabinet of Ministers the bill has powerful supporters. According to the Ministry of economic development, “the admission of objects of retail trade to the sale of medicinal substances was a positive development, aiming both at developing competition on the pharmaceutical market and increasing the availability of medicines for consumers.”
However, they believe that the law requires revision. The Ministry Maxim Oreshkin insist on further elaboration of the list of drugs subject to the conditions of their storage and the risk of harm to health. In addition, retailers wishing to sell drugs, should, according to the MAYOR, to hire a staff of professional pharmacists.
The Federal Antimonopoly service innovation also support, on the grounds that increased competition will lead to lower prices. They point out that retailers, as well as pharmacies, will have to obtain the appropriate license, and therefore, the law does not grant them special preferences.
However, pharmacy chains see the law as a threat to their business. Thus, the largest Russian pharmacy chain Rigla, with almost two thousand points, can close almost half of its facilities. A similar fate threatens network “Stolichka”, writes “Kommersant”. The hardest, according to the newspaper, have a small pharmacy networks in the regions.
The Chairman of the Association of experts of the retail market Andrey Karpov sees the initiative of the Ministry of trade prospects.
In General, this initiative is interesting and correct from the point of view of promoting competition and access to products. This is especially important for small settlements.
Most importantly, what is necessary here to note that it is only on the over-the-counter medicines. Their sale is not subject to special requirements and in pharmacies. Buyer can buy these drugs as much as he needs. Pharmacists are often outraged that the buyers themselves will take the goods, but we have pharmacies with open rooms.
“SP”: — Ministry of economy insists on the inclusion in the States retailers of professional pharmacists…
— Trade will always be able to ensure compliance with all necessary requirements in the implementation of various medications. Yes, there is no impossible obligations. If you need to hire a pharmacists will employ.
Do not think that the staff who work at the stores now, unqualified. Requirements apply depending on job duties. For example, line staff may have a low qualification, and the specialists in quality or procurement is an entirely different level. The same will happen in the case of pharmaceuticals.
“SP”: — what share of the pharmaceutical market can expect a retail in the case of adoption of law?
— A lot depends on how quickly the law will come into force. Tomorrow or ten years from now. In any case, this share will rise gradually. First trade will appreciate the opportunity to do drugs, then you will need to prepare, to recruit specialists, including for the purchase of these products, to work out the logistics, etc. in addition, the consumer still has to get used to what drugs you can buy in regular stores.
After selling the drugs begin to deal with many retailers, the company they can count on half of market of OTC medicines.
But the expert of the pharmaceutical market, the development Director of the company RNC Pharma Nikolai Bespalov concerned that retailers will be in a privileged position compared to pharmacies.
— Our evaluation of the initiative as a whole is negative. Because it does not take into account features of the organization of the pharmaceutical market and the healthcare system in Russia. To positive changes, this law will not lead, a negative cause can.
There is a risk of higher prices for medicines, the risk of reducing accessibility of medicines due to the reduction in the number of pharmacies, as well as the risk of irrational use of drugs due to the incompetence of users.
If regulators believe that these changes are not critical and negative factors can offset, then this should not just declare on the sidelines, and to prescribe clear legal restrictions.
“SP”: — What?
For example, to limit the release of drugs to children, as it now exists for alcoholic beverages or cigarettes. Or to register for supermarkets same requirements for the storage and release of drugs, which currently exist for pharmacies. If it is documented, then perhaps the initiative would have a right to exist.
But if it be considered, that none of the trading organization to engage in the sale of drugs will not be simple. She is not interested. Meanwhile, trade organizations are put in more favorable conditions in comparison with pharmacies. It is true that pharmacies are outraged. After all, they risk not only losing profit, but in some cases, to close.
“SP”: — What losses could be in pharmacies?
— Sound assessment of 25-30% of revenue. But, in my opinion, it will be 15-20%. However, given that a good indicator in the industry is considered to be margins of 5%, this is a significant loss, is fraught with the closure of pharmacies.
“SP”: — But the drug prescription will be for pharmacies. What is the ratio of RX and OTC drugs on the market?
Now it’s about fifty-fifty. And it is unlikely in shopping retail will go all over-the-counter medications. First and foremost, it will be the largest in financial terms, the margin. But even if the retailers win only 10% of the product, but the most advantageous from the point of view of profit, it will be a severe blow to the drugstores.
“SP”: — Probably, this law someone can lobby. The same retailers. For example, Sergey Galitsky has sold his “Magnet” state VTB. Selling medications that this network will become even more profitable…
— Some lobbyist efforts on the part of retail shopping probably is. As far as I know, Galician was against the attention of retailers to the pharmacy range. Another thing is that in Russia there is another major retailer company X5 Retail Group, which your interest in the medication market has never hidden. But interested in this at all all major retail.
“SP”: — Ministry of economy insists on receiving retailers to work pharmacists. In fact, we are talking about the establishment of pharmaceutical unit in retail…
Exactly. But what’s stopping them now to obtain a license to open a pharmacy in the cash area? And so many do. In the process of harmonization of the new law, many details will disappear and one day we will see that supermarkets are in a better position than the pharmacy. It looks like a conspiracy theory, but such examples were already in practice.
According to the President of the League of defenders of patients Alexander Saversky, if the new law will come into force, availability to customers is not very important medicines will increase, while vital, on the contrary, will fall.
Today the pharmacy has fixed the price of public vital and essential drugs list (vital and essential drugs). They can’t increase it, but to have the range required. Thus, they earn mostly on the fact that they want to take away and give to retailers. The trade network will benefit from this, people first, too, it may seem convenient, but when some pharmacies will be closed, access to the really important drugs will be restricted. Moreover, this effect is quite unpredictable.
“SP”: — is it possible to affect the law until it is adopted?
— This is not a new idea. It is trying to implement here for like seven years. It lobbied the Ministry of industry and retail. I would not say that the proportion of drugs that will go in retail, is very large. For consumers it is dangerous it is the closure of pharmacies. So just can not do that.
By the way, retailers can now obtain licenses and open pharmacies. But they also want simplified license on the grounds that they do not do prescription drugs. But the terms of the licensing of pharmacies has developed over centuries and are designed to protect the interests of the patient and to ensure his safety. I am opposed to mixing on the shelves of one store location of food and medicine: here sweetie, here tablets.
We have government regulation on pharmaceuticals, says the lawyer, a specialist in medical licensing Vladmir Gupalo. According to him, are licensed to each address. That is, the address of each pharmacy licensee must confirm the availability of facilities, equipment and qualified personnel. Under the new law it is expected that the retailers will obtain one license for all the points. If it is so, then I assume that the drugs will be properly stored, and licensing requirements to be violated.
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