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Curb sale of non-prescription drugs: deputy PM

Update: May, 23/2018 - 10:00
People purchase medicine at a pharmacy in Hà Nội. The implementation of the national drug supply chain management system is expected to help the health sector manage medicine and prevent the purchase of medicines without a prescription. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The implementation of the national drug supply chain management system will help the health sector manage the supply of medicine and prevent the purchase of medicine without prescription.

Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said this at a meeting with the health sector on the implementation of the national drug supply chain system held in Hà Nội on Monday.

“Thanks to the application of the system, the health sector will know all information relating to the drugs on the market, including the quality, the source and price, while local residents can check the origin of the medicine as well as its expiration date,” he said.

The implementation of the system is part of an important mission currently being undertaken as part of the sixth plenum of the Party Central Committee’s resolution on the improvement of people’s health.

Accordingly, the management of the sale of drugs in retail outlets, hospitals drugstores and pharmacies nationwide should be tightened.

It is expected that the national drug supply chain management system will link with drugstores at hospitals and health stations by the end of this year. This will be followed by linking with all pharmacies in the country by the end of 2019.

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), the system has updated a list of around 52,000 out of 60,000 medicines, helping to identify the origin of the medicines. New information is being updated to the system every day.

Through the system, prescriptions at hospitals can be connected with manufacturers as well as import and export companies, so that they know which drugs to supply, and where there is an existing surplus.

The MoH has piloted the programme in a number of pharmacies in Vĩnh Phúc, Phú Thọ and Hưng Yên provinces.

Vũ Tuấn Cường, head of Drug Administration, said there were problems in the application of the system, including hesitation from private pharmacies, obstacles in pharmacies due to faulty or outdated computer systems, network access and a lack of determination in some localities.

“Surveys conducted by the MoH showed that the implementation of drug supply chain management requires great effort and determination,” he said, adding that changing the operation of the current system from manual to electronic is a must in many localities, to ensure transparency in business, and stop people from overusing drugs unnecessarily.

Despite the fact that prescription drugs supplied at all public and private hospitals are listed online, it is impossible to control activities at thousands of private health clinics, Cường said.

To help remedy the situation, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the need to utilise lessons learned from localities where the system was piloted, and fully finish and check the software before implementing it nationwide.

The system must meet all requirements of the pharmacies’ activities including setting forth a forecast on drug consumption in the coming time, he said.

He asked the health sector and various localities to take drastic measures and deal strictly with pharmacies that violate the requirements of the new system.

The health sector is required to review regulations to tighten the sale of drugs, ensuring the rights of patients and putting an end to the sale of non-prescription drugs, which has resulted in high antibiotic resistance in Việt Nam, he said. — VNS


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