The RA Ministry of Health has established four new prescription forms for medicine, psychotropic, single or multiple medicine delivery. Recording a prescription on any other paper is prohibited. As regards the terms of the prescription, prescriptions for medicines containing drugs and psychotropic substances are valid for 10 days, and the remaining medications and multiple prescriptions for 6 months. At the same time, forms of prescribed form of prescription are valid until December 31, 2018.
Director of YSU Institute of Pharmacy, Academician Ashot Saghyan touched upon the necessity of selling medicines by prescription and the consequences of this process.
“Such kind of a sale is undoubtedly an important and demanded process. In developed countries of the world this is a norm. There is a large list of medications that must be used only by the doctor’s prescription. Experts need strict control of the type of medicine, the dosage, sequence of several medications, compatibility and many other issues. The physician should first examine the patient, determine the stage of the disease, take into account the peculiarities of the patient’s organism and other activities, and then write a prescription. Of course, drugstore pharmacist can guide the patient, but that’s not enough. Finally, not all drugstore pharmacists get university education, so they cannot be competent. I think there has been a major lack that so far this method was not applied in our republic,” - said YSU professor.
Ashot Saghyan added that despite the fact that the process is important and necessary, however, it is full of dangerous consequences.
“Taking into consideration the current state of the pharmaceutical market, the general economy, as well as the social status of the citizen, may cause a number of negative consequences. In particular, serious problems will arise if physician services are not free, as the majority of our citizens, the socially insecure and middle class will face financial difficulties in the procurement process. If the services are free, corruption risks will arise. In fact, our country and society are ready to make those changes. They should be gradual, excluding and correcting current issues. Medicine prices are rising and the pensioner who has no income and cannot survive without them will not only have financial problems, but will also be in trouble. In order to make such a turning point, first of all it is necessary to carry out systemic changes that include corruption reduction efforts and so on. I am sure that in any European country they do not care about these issues but this is still some of the post-Soviet customs and traditions in Armenia, where people have tried to survive at any cost in almost inhuman conditions after independence. This means that a person who has money will prefer to post a note in the doctor’s pocket and pick up the necessary prescription instead of waiting for the ambulance’s displeasure at the late hour or standing in the queues of the regional polyclinics. Problems will get worse when the list of prescriptions is gradually expanding, including many essential medicines.”
At the end of the conversation, however, the expert stressed that the process is important, as the consequences of inappropriate medicines and inadequate dosage are often recurring and fatal.
Interview by Varduhi Zakaryan