Availability of vital and essential drugs in Russia is 65% on average

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The number of regions in Russia, with the availability of vital and essential drugs (VED) below the national average level, has increased.

According to Roszdravnadzor, in August, the number of such regions reached as many as 39, while six months ago (in March) there were 34. Compared to the previous year, the total provision of VED increased by two percentage points, but it still stands at 65% on average across Russia. The experts believe that the shortage of vital drugs is associated with deficits of regional budgets, as well as unprofitable manufacturing of some medicines.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Russian-made generics are actively launched onto the market. This improves the availability of VED in regions, and the drugs are becoming less expensive.

Amid the competition, the prices go down and this, in turn, ensures a broader medicinal coverage in the long term, said the Ministry.

Yury Krestinsky, the Director of the Institute of Public Healthcare Development, noted that the drugs that are not available in the regions were usually needed by 2-3% of the population. But, since it is a matter of vital and essential drugs, “this situation is unacceptable,” he added. “There is a number of reasons for the non-availability of some drugs in the regions. First, this is caused by inadequate planning and analysis of population needs during the public procurement. Secondly, there is a shortage of budgetary funds for procurement of medicines. In addition, the drugs may not physically available because it is unprofitable to manufacture them”.

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