OPINION POLL: Health – More and More Expensive. What do We Pay with? Who Benefits?

OPINION POLL: Health – More and More Expensive. What do We Pay with? Who Benefits?
by
03 February 2021 | 12:03

Drug prices have risen again. On Monday, the Dignity and Truth Platform requested that the leadership of the Medicines Agency and Ministry of Health be heard in Parliament’s competent committee. “More and more complaints are coming from people. Citizens detect increases of 40-50%, including drugs for the COVID-19 treatment,  after the Agency, by order of 31 December 2020, set other minimum prices”, announced the chairman of the Faction, Alexandru Slusari. “In the conditions of governmental chaos, the Parliament needs to be more involved in monitoring all processes in society”, claims the deputy.

Gheorghe Răileanu, doctor, Cimișlia district councillor

What do we pay with? With life, because where does the man get a penny for drugs? The problem is that the control over the medicines sale has been lost. The pharmaceutical sector has become very profitable, especially now, in a pandemic situation. Many drugs are smuggled and sold without a doctor’s prescription. As in any big money field, we have a lot of corruption. Pharmacists pursue their financial interest, not the citizen’s interest. The Ministry of Health, which is also the Ministry of Social Assistance, must actively intervene with policies that support the population. The legislative framework also needs to be reviewed.

Tudor Botin, painter

It’s a tragedy, we have had price increases, up to 10-15%, but where we ended up is the limit. I think that 40-50% price increases are a crime in times of crisis when many people have lost their jobs. People are dying, but Dodon and the Socialists raise the issue of the status of the Russian language. Our whole family went through COVID. In hospitals, it is as it is, but to be treated at home… There are expenses of thousands of Moldovan lei. Those who leave, like Dodon, Shor and others, have made our lives a business. I know that for his health a man is ready to sell off his coat, and they take advantage of it. They steal from us like highwaymen. Well, this is not a matter for hearings in Parliament’s committee, this is an issue that needs to be discussed urgently in the Supreme Security Council. The health of citizens is a matter of national security.

Ala Tocarciuc, international expert in pharmaceutical management

The procedure for determining the drug price in Moldova is extremely bureaucratic. In the practice of other states, the biggest discussions are on the registration of the drug’s maximum price in pharmacies. In Moldova, the value registration from the producer was applied, i.e. of import, declared at customs according to the accompanying documents. This procedure has negatively affected pharmaceutical safety, as many companies have chosen not to register prices here by this method, so as not to expose their products to risk in other countries. The factory price is lower than the maximum release price from the pharmacy. Some companies have waived the extension of authorizations to deliver medicines to the local market. In this way, many drugs were irradiated from the State Nomenclature. As the demand for medicinal products eradicated from the remaining nomenclature, the Medicines Agency authorized the import of these medicinal products by the same manufacturers from other countries through intermediaries. However, their price varies according to the cost indicated on the import invoice, without being included in the Price Catalogue.  

Dan Perciun, deputy of the Action and Solidarity Party

The rise in the price of over-the-counter medicines, especially those used to treat mild forms of COVID, is an abuse. I do not have statistical data available, but based on citizens’ complaints, some pharmacy networks may have already implemented the amendments to the Drug Law, promoted by the Socialist-Shor parties in the last meeting of the 2020 Legislature. Those changes liberalized the price of over-the-counter drugs, freeing the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. I assume that certain networks, seeing those changes adopted and enacted by former president Dodon, did not take into account the fact that two appeals to the Constitutional Court are currently pending, and the Court suspended the bill until the final decision on price liberalization. Therefore, any current price increase is both an abuse and an illegal action.

AUTHOR MAIL eng.zdg@gmail.com

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