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noyantapan: 15% BLACK MARKET INCREASE REGISTERED IN ARMENIA LAST YEAR

YEREVAN, June 20 (Noyan Tapan). Specialists say black market of medicines of Armenia is 35%-40%. Last year 15% increase was registered. The main reason for this growth is the absence of professional control over the pharmaceutic market. Deputy director of National Agency of Medicines Samvel Azatian told this to Noyan Tapan referring to the opinion of the mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Bureau. The mission visited Armenia June 9-13. Samvel Azatian expressed confidence that the growth of the black sector observed last year is directly connected with the fact that the function of pharmaceutic control was taken away from the agency last year. Given the fact that there are 4,000 registered preparations, the absence of control over them could not but lead to the growth of shadow turnover, or to the appearance of a great number of false medicines. Some medicines, for example, the falsified “No-Shpa”, according to Azatian, are so professionally falsified that they completely look like the real ones. Especially dangerous are the falsified intravenous solutions. Moreover, both the imported solutions, for example, “Gemodez”, and those made by local producers are falsified. Especially large quantities of antibiotics, for example kephzol or gentamicin are falsified. Falsified anti-fungus preparations and others have also been revealed. According to Azatian, in most cases only a specialist can define if it is a falsified medicine or not. “The market of medicines are controlled by tax bodies, the Ministry of Finance, the Customs Office, but only not the professional pharmaceutics,” he emphasized. Once deprived of the function of control, the agency was also deprived of the opportunity to exercise post-license control over pharmacies and their staff. “We used to check to what extent pharmacies are adjusted to keeping and selling medicines. The qualification of the staff used to be checked too. No checking is carried out currently,” Samvel Azatian stated. The WHO believes that all the professional functions in the sphere of pharmaceutic market may be fulfilled by the National Agency on Medicines. The high level of this agency’s specialists has been noted by the WHO and by other competent organizations many a times. Relevant recommendations will be submitted to both the National Agency and the Armenian government.

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