Retailers charge 800% premiums on Psychotropic drugs
\"The association of Young Financiers and Businessmen” held a briefing on 31st of July at \"Pirveli” press club, where the increasing tendency of pharmaceutical drug abuse in the country was discussed. As the organization stated, this problem has existed over large period of time and the substitution of hard drugs with pharmaceutical ones is a widespread practice, but the problem has been growing over last period and the statistics, that displays the problem, is becoming alarming.
The minister of Labor, Health and Social Care, David Sergeenko, addressed this problem towards the end of last year, he evaluated the existing circumstances as highly alarming and catastrophic. Psychotropic drugs have become a cheap and easily accessible option for drug abuse. To confront this problem, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Care devised a joint law, which was aimed to repress the pharmaceutical drug abuse.
According to the law, being active since 24th of January, 2014, it is prohibited to sell drugs and psychotropic substances at the pharmacies without a special prescription. So was expanded the list of noted medications. According to Ministry of Health Care, \"Several pharmaceutical treatments were added to already existing list of drugs, psychotropic substances, precursors and several psychoactive substances substitutes, in particular, Baclophen, Gabapentin, combined preparations with Dextromethorphan (except syrups), Zopiclon, Zaleplon and Tropicamid.
Although, as the young financiers state, despite the changes in the law, pharmaceutical drug abuse is still increasing with a fast pace. Psychotropic drugs, despite the prohibition of selling them without prescription, are still sold without any difficulties or barriers. The experiment conducted by \"The Young Financiers and Businessmen” proves the fact of uncontrolled realization of psychotropic drugs. The representatives of the organization visited up to 15 pharmacies throughout Tbilisi and attempted to purchase the 6 most abused drugs (Gabapentin, Baclophen, Zolomax, Xanax, Diazepam, Tropicamid), in which they succeeded without any confrontation or difficulties. The representatives of the organization once again checked the issue with the prescriptions for these drugs and the hot line of Ministry of Health Care confirmed that realization of all of the above mentioned drugs without prescription is illegal. The stated can be checked by every journalist or person of interest.
The organization has a video material confirming this fact and if desired, will hand it to any interested party.
\"We would like to underline the fact, that during these events, the realization of psychotropic drugs did not happen out of ignorance of law, but it was a conscious act and the vendor was also providing us with certain \"recommendations” on various abusive characteristics of drugs. As it turns out, high demand on cheap drug abuse and lack of control of this issue from the government’s side, became a very successful business for certain groups and import of psychotropic drugs have been dramatically increasing annually, even after the law of prescription was implemented. Turns out, importers answer the high demand with excessive price range, charging additional of 400% to 1500% premium. From 2010 to 2014, 24 tones, 6 different types of 98 million pills and vial of psychotropic drugs was imported” – stated the president of \"AFBA”, Nodar Chichinadze.
\"Therefore, in total, the market price of above mentioned 6 types of drugs consists of 50 million GEL. But, it has to be noted, that clearance of the drugs is weight depended, thus in some cases specific drugs are not recorded, it also has to be noted, that with the same commodity code, that these psychotropic drugs undergo clearance, is used to import non-classified drugs worth 2 million GEL, in which, supposedly, there is a big portion of psychotropic medicaments.
Aside this fact, after the law of prescriptions was implemented on 24th of January, 2014, the import of above noted medicaments and realization, together with their use, has increased. The young financiers consider, that existing tendency is alarming and government’s position concerning this issue is vague, because if appropriate authorities are not aware of unprecedented realization of psychotropic drugs, this is a big flaw, but if they are aware of it and are not taking any measures, it is even worse – a crime” – states organization’s analytic, Giorgi Khaburzania.
Representatives of the organization also discussed the negative effect of noted uncontrolled processes:
\"The consequences of this event are clearly negative, according to unofficial data, decent number of citizens, including minors, abuse drugs exactly this way, when these medicaments have very acute side effects and harm vital organs of the human body. Although, another crucial problem has to be noted, that psychotropic drugs cause a strong addiction and it is impossible to overcome it without special rehabilitation courses. Unfortunately, this is the result of ineffective politics and government will have to additionally invest towards solving this problem” – states Paata Bairakhtari.
To solve the existing problems, \"AFBA” considers, that fore mostly and as soon as possible, to strengthen the inspection of pharmacies, of how strictly they follow the law and we also consider it very crucial to tighten the sanctions and fines for the pharmacies, which sell psychotropic drugs without any prescriptions.