The government has a task to introduce in Ukraine the European practice of selling prescription drugs, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said at a meeting of the Cabinet, ForUm learned from the governmental portal.

"Our task is to introduce European practice, when medicines, except for the simplest ones, are sold only upon prescription," he said.

Azarov pointed out that Ukrainians buy 85% of drugs without prescription following recommendations of friends or TV commercials.

"The country is seized with self-treatment, although we know for a fact that every body reacts to medicines individually. The same medication can help one patient, but not the other. Expert recommendations of doctors on prescriptions for patients are necessary. That is why only doctors should prescribe medicines, especially in serious cases," Azarov said.

The premier added that Ukrainians spend over UAH 20 billion on medicines every year, and two third of this sum go down the drain.

The Premier also pointed out the problem of hard selling of unnecessary and excessively expensive drugs. "Large pharmaceutical companies have occupied our hospitals and clinics with net marketing. Patients are often forced to buy expensive imported rugs, while there are cheaper domestic analogues," Azarov said.

In this context the Premier urged to introduce such regulations and protocols of treatment, which would oblige doctors to prescribe adequate medicine and to inform patients about possible choice.

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