15 Jan 2020 17:55

Putin asks govt to quickly arrange procedures to import medicines not yet registered in Russia

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the government to adjust the procedure of importing vitally important medicines not yet registered in Russia within the shortest possible time.

In delivering an annual address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday, Putin mentioned legislative decisions that had been made to allow the imports of certain special medications not yet officially registered in Russia using an official centralized procedure.

"I urge the government to adjust this procedure within the shortest possible time in such a way as to make sure that people, especially parents of ill children, never again find themselves in a hopeless situation in which they cannot legally procure a medicine they need," Putin said.

The quality control of medicines will be significantly amended, Putin said. "It will be tightened not only at the pharmaceutical companies but also through all stages of their circulation, including in pharmacy chains," he said.

Law enforcement officers detained several mothers in Russia in 2019 for ordering the medicine Frisium (Clobazam), which is not registered in Russia, for their children from abroad. Civil society members and human rights defenders have called the situation absurd and inhuman, and the Kremlin also expressed its concern.

The Moscow Endocrine Plant imported 7,620 packs of Clobazam (also known as Frisium) for 540 children under the Russian government's orders on October 26, 2019.

The head of the Moscow Center for Palliative Assistance of the Moscow healthcare department, Nyuta Federmesser, wrote on Facebook that "there are still more than 2,000 children for whom the documents for Clobazam (Frisium) are only being prepared."

On January 13, 2020, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered that 22 million rubles be allotted for buying medicines from abroad for children suffering from serious chronic diseases.

Health Minister Veronica Skvortsova said the second batch of Frisium for 600 children would be delivered in the first quarter of 2020.

Director of the charity foundation Dom s Mayakom (Lighthouse) Lidiya Moniava said earlier that "drugs are now being brought into Russia for specific children" and "the real systemic solution to this whole story" will be the registration of Frisium in Russia.

The company Sanofi has now applied for the registration of Frisium. An evaluation began on October 10. The Health Ministry told Interfax that the completion of the evaluation will mean the registration of the drug on the Russian market.