State to loosen administrative grip on import substitution in pharmaceutics

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April 22, 2016 19:03

At the most recent Parliamentary session, MPs bombarded Deputy Health Minister Viachelav Shilo with questions regarding Health Ministry regulation No 66, which changed the rules for issuing medical prescriptions and selling prescribed drugs by pharmacies ’’in order to improve the country’s drug supply, including to exclude self-treatment’’. With its actions, the Ministry aimed to pursue its strategy aiming to replace foreign drugs with their Belarusian counterparts. In particular, the regulation envisages that foremost, ’’doctors should prescribe drugs purchased within the state procurement programme’’. The HM regulation caused an outcry among the population, inter alia, among doctors due to the fact that the new regulation has made it more difficult to issue prescriptions and increased the burden on doctors. In addition, many health facilities and pharmacies have not been informed and are thus not prepared for this amendment. Most likely, the health authorities will be prompted to reconsider their regulation and to make some changes to ease the work of doctors, as well as the process of dispensing drugs.

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The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.

Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.

Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.

In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.

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