Prescribing enhances rational use of drugs and prevents self-treatment — Lyudmila Byurabekova

Thursday, 13 June 2019, 12:11:08

At the briefing in the press center of the Government, Chair of the Committee for Quality Control and Safety of Goods and Services of the Ministry of Healthcare Lyudmila Byurabekova reported on measures taken to control prescription drugs.

Byurabekova noted that the sale of drugs in pharmacies in Kazakhstan by prescription is not a new requirement of the Ministry of Healthcare and this prohibition has been in effect for more than 15 years. The ministry has taken up control over the issues of timely prescription for patients at the level of primary healthcare, queuing at polyclinics, the presence of narrow specialists.

Department specialists and Pharmaceutical Industry Associations are conducting explanatory campaigns with specialists of the first table.

“To date, 7,748 drugs have been registered in the country, of which 6,114 are available on prescription, 1,634 — without a prescription,” the committee chair said.

For example, non-prescription drugs include paracetamol, citramon. Diazolin, an anti-allergy medication, in turn, is prescribed. This is due to its addictive drug component. A list of over-the-counter and prescription drugs is posted on the committee's website.

In addition, the information on all registered drugs is available in the DariKz mobile application. The price limits (this function will appear in July), conditions of supply from pharmacies, as well as the instructions for use can be accessed using the application.

For information on prescription drugs and on issues of free outpatient drug provision, you can contact the call center at number 1439. This number is available for both city and mobile phones. Calls are accepted free of charge from anywhere in the country.

“Prescription will contribute to the rational use of drugs, the prevention of self-treatment and the identification of counterfeit products,” said Byurabekova.

To simplify the procedures for writing prescriptions and obtaining drugs at the pharmacy, from 2020 it is planned to switch to the full electronic format of work in the information systems of the ministry. As part of the transition to “paperless hospitals,” certain regions (Karaganda, Atyrau, East Kazakhstan) have already switched to electronic format for prescribing.

According to the Ministry of Healthcare, prescriptions can be issued by both general practitioners and narrow specialists, as well as emergency doctors and stationary doctors. There are no restrictions in categories.

“The prescription can be written immediately for a three-month course of treatment and it is valid for 3 months,” explained Byurabekova.

Byurabekova drew attention to the fact that the probability of an error in the choice of the drug itself, the dose, the form of administration, the duration of treatment leads to treatment failure of up to 80%.

“The magnitude of the consequences of the irrational use of drugs is self-threatening — first of all, the delay in seeking medical attention, the high risk of complications of diseases and side effects of medicines, such as poisoning, addiction, reduction in the body's susceptibility to a particular drug, etc.,” said the speaker.

For example, antibiotics with irrational use can cause allergic reactions, severe forms of bronchial asthma, serious heart disease, kidney, liver, congenital malformations in children. In addition, the uncontrolled use of antibiotics leads to the fact that microorganisms quickly develop resistance to them. The World Health Organization assesses this trend as a global problem that requires the adoption of significant measures, including the correctness of the prescription and use of antibiotics.

The ministry has made positive changes in terms of preventing the spread of counterfeit pharmaceutical products. As Byurabekova noted, specialists of the state body controlling circulation of medicines carry out road checks, identify and establish the sources of distribution of counterfeit medicines, and take measures to prevent their implementation.

The concept of “counterfeit drugs” is included in the regulatory framework, and administrative responsibility has been introduced for handling counterfeit goods. State standards of good pharmaceutical practices are approved that meet international requirements. A national pharmacopoeia has been developed. The Republic of Kazakhstan is included as an observer in the European Pharmacopoeia.

The side effects of drugs are monitored. A provision has been introduced on mandatory labeling of medicines in the state language. The procedure for seizure of medicinal products in circulation in the Republic of Kazakhstan for examination of efficiency, safety and quality has been determined. Akimats of border areas signed memorandums with neighboring countries on cooperation, including the implementation of agreed measures to combat the treatment of counterfeit medicines. Since Jan. 1, 2015, the Republic of Kazakhstan has criminal liability for the production and distribution of falsified medical products, providing for from 2 to 10 years imprisonment, with confiscation of property.

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