The Russian parliament has passed a pharmaceuticals bill aimed at stimulating the development of the domestic pharmaceutical industry and to protect consumers and industry from counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
The bill, which is part of the Duma government's wider modernisation agenda, will also promote affordable prices for consumers and sets out the powers of federal and regional authorities in regulating the circulation of drugs.
The bill will also standardise and stabilise medicine prices, including a government set ceiling price on 5,000 drugs for the most dangerous diseases such as tuberculosis and diabetes.
Any new medicines must be registered within 210 days, and the government have lowered registration tariffs from RUB 670,000 to RUB 300,000. Additionally, all drug production companies must register with government by April 1, for which thier is no cost.
Head of Duma Committee on Pharmaceutical Market Development Diana Mikhailova commented that the pharmaceutical market is not like any other, it has to do with the health of citizens.
"That's why the government must be involved and regulate prices," Mikhailova said.
The new law also states that by 2014 every medicine-producing company must comply with European standards.
Pharmaceutical imports account for around 75% of Russia's burgeoning pharmaceutical market, and it is hoped that the introduction of the new bill will support the development of a competitive domestic medicine manufacturing industry.