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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Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries entangle in confrontation spiral
October 02, 2017 11:57
Фото: RFRM

Over the past year, military-political relations between Minsk and Kyiv have become complicated. Due to their high inertia and peculiarities, this downward trend would be extremely difficult to overcome.

The root cause of the crisis is the absence of a common political agenda in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Minsk is looking for a market for Belarusian exports in Ukraine and offers its services as a negotiation platform for the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, thereby hoping to avoid political issues in the dialogue with Kiev. Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for political support from Minsk in the confrontation with Moscow. In addition, Ukraine’s integration with NATO presupposes her common position with the Alliance in relation to Belarus. The NATO leadership regards the Belarusian Armed Forces as an integral part of the Russian military machine in the western strategic front (the Baltic states and Poland). In addition, the ongoing military reform in Ukraine envisages a reduction in the number of generals and the domestic political struggle makes some Ukrainian top military leaders targets in politically motivated attacks.

Hence, the criticism of Belarus coming from Ukrainian military leadership is dictated primarily by internal and external political considerations, as well as by the need to protect the interests of generals, and only then by facts.

For instance, initially, the Ukrainian military leadership made statements about 100,000 Russian servicemen allegedly taking part in the Russo-Belarusian military drill West-2017. Then the exercises were labelled quazi-open and military observers from Ukraine refused to provide their assessment, which caused a negative reaction in Minsk. Further, without citing specific facts, it was stated that Russia was building up its military presence in Belarus.

Apparently, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries have entangled in a confrontational spiral (on the level of rhetoric). Moreover, only a small part of the overly hidden process has been disclosed. That said, third states are very likely to take advantage of the situation (or have already done so). This is not only about Russia.

The Belarusian Defence Ministry officials are restrained in assessing their Ukrainian counterparts. However, such a restraint is not enough. Current military-political relations between Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to stabilise without the intervention of both presidents.

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