The Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Ministry of Healthcare intend to grant pharmaceutical manufacturers the right to change prices for drugs from the VED list in order to avoid drug shortages. Due to the unprofitability of production this year, hospitals across Russia face an acute shortage of essential drugs.
At the moment, the departments are developing a special document that allows manufacturers to independently regulate the cost of vital and essential medicines. According to Vademecum, the Ministry of Industry and Trade supported this initiative. According to the document, the pharmaceutical companies of the EAEU countries will be able to raise the prices of medicines worth up to 100 rubles at the level of the rise in the price of raw materials, but no more than 100 rubles. At the moment, the initiative is being finalized and coordinated with the relevant departments.
Back in April, major manufacturers, including Pharmstandard, Biosintez and Dalkhimpharm, informed the Ministry of Industry and Trade of their intention to abandon the production of about 50 drugs from the VED list due to the low maximum allowable price. Due to the devaluation of the ruble and numerous economic restrictions against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for imported raw materials has significantly increased, which led to a sharp rise in prices. In particular, the production of paracetamol, glucose solution, ibuprofen, diphenhydramine has become unprofitable.
In December 2019, the rules for mandatory re-registration of the cost of drugs from the VED list in 2019-2020 were adopted, but this requirement did not apply to drugs worth up to 100 rubles.
Note that this is not the first time such a situation has occurred in Russia. Prices for VED drugs were registered back in 2009, and then the average values provided by the manufacturers themselves based on last year's sales results were taken as the basis. After the devaluation of the ruble in 2014, imported raw materials rose sharply, so some drugs disappeared from the Russian market due to unprofitable circulation. A similar scenario is being realized now: this year alone, Russian hospitals experienced a shortage of furosemide in ampoules - the only loop diuretic for intravenous administration in Russia. It is used to relieve acute pulmonary edema, treat acute decompensated heart failure, acute renal failure. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are refusing to manufacture this drug because the marginal cost is too low.
In early October, the National Medical Research Center of Hematology revealed interruptions in the supply of 26 basic oncological preparations in regional hospitals. We are talking about inexpensive drugs, without which it is impossible to fully treat cancer.