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Health Ministry Moots Restrictions on Bringing OTC Drugs Into Russia

The ministry said in an explanatory note that the measure was motivated by the "vagueness" of current legal regulations concerning the movement of highly potent substances within the Eurasian Customs Union.

A new draft bill put forward by Russia's Health Ministry could oblige individuals bringing medicines containing highly potent ingredients — including over-the-counter drugs intended for personal use — into the country to present medical documentation, news agency Interfax reported Friday.

According to the proposal, border forces would have the right to demand proof that such drugs have been prescribed by a medical professional, along with information about the drugs' names and quantities.

Either original prescriptions or certified copies would be accepted.

The ministry said in an explanatory note that the measure was motivated by the "vagueness" of current legal regulations concerning the movement of highly potent substances within the Eurasian Customs Union. The trade bloc presently consists of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

According to the note, the new regulations would affect "potent substances included in medicinal products, excluding narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, their precursors and analogues."

The ministry published online a list of substances it considers highly potent.

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