The Armenian Health Ministry’s new decision, according to which a vast number of medications, including antibiotics, hormonal and codeine-containing medicines, will be sold by prescription only starting March 1, has raised concerns among pharmacists. The latter insist the new decision will create an additional financial burden for not so well-off citizens.
“People often buy a single or a couple of pills. There are days when they buy 2 Analgin tablets. With this new decision, however, they will have to buy the entire pack, even if they have been prescribed a few pills,” the pharmacist in a Yerevan drugstore told our reporter.
“I agree that antibiotics should be sold by prescription, but the decision itself is rather unclear. Will we not be allowed to sell any medicines containing antibiotics? There are drops, creams, pills, etc, and they all contain different amounts of antibiotics. We are waiting for more specific information. We do not know the details of the decision, but we do know that a violation will cost us 5000 drams,” another pharmacist said.
She added that chronic patients have worked out what medications best suit their needs and always buy the same drugs, without having to go to a doctor every single time and waste money on consultations.
A spokesperson for the Health Ministry assured our reporter on Thursday that “there is no need to be put off by the new decision since it only aims to prevent self-medication, which often causes side effects.”