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Health Ministry Proposes Drug Registration System

The Health Ministry wants to create a database for controlling medicine sold in drug stores across the country, a news report said Thursday.

The system would be maintained by the Federal Health and Social Development Inspection Service and include serial and batch numbers of all medicine produced, according to proposed amendments to the law on the distribution of medicine published on the Health and Social Development Ministry's website.

The move is part of an effort to battle sales of counterfeit products.

Under the current system, the official criteria for allowing a medicine to reach the market varies for different types of drugs, said Vasily Ignatyev, head of the R-Farm group.

Biomedicines are subject to state certification, while other drugs require a declaration of compliance issued by the manufacturers.

The current system of controlling the sale of drugs is inadequate, Ignatyev said, adding that he welcomes the health ministry's initiative, but only if information can be included in the register within three days.

Manufacturers produce hundreds of thousands of different medicines every year, and reporting on every batch could slow the flow of drugs to the market, said Timofei Petrov, director general of Farm Sintez.

He also expressed doubt that establishing the national drug register would be effective against fake drugs.

Implementing the system could create confusion on the initial stage and possibly result in freezing some pre-existing stocks, said Andrei Gusev, head of A5 pharmacies, but he hoped that the system would work smoothly once it is fully operational.

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