Heads of five pharmacies arrested for illegal sale of psychotropic drugs in Tbilisi
Illegal sale of narcotic substances in pharmacies in Georgia
The heads of five pharmacies were detained in Tbilisi on charges of the systematic sale of psychotropic and specially controlled drugs without a prescription.
“A large number of psychotropic drugs of various types have been seized from these pharmacies, and the investigation continues”, the Ministry of Finance’s investigative service said in a statement.
The detained individuals may be facing 1-3 years in prison under Article 192 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
This is not the first time law enforcement has detained those involved in the pharmacy network for the illegal selling of narcotic substances. In September 2018, another operation ended the career of a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Health, Gia Tvalavadze who was accused of being involved in the illegal sale of psychotropic drugs in a ‘pharmacy drug addiction’ case.
• Since September 1, 2014, the sale of psychotropic medications, sleeping pills, and sedatives (except for herbal-based ones) without a prescription has been prohibited in Georgia. It is also prohibited to purchase antidepressants, antibiotics, and many other medicines without a prescription.
• The main argument in favor of the ban was the fight against drug addiction.
• The problem of “pharmacy drug addiction” has been acute in Georgia since the 90s. Until 2013, a significant proportion of drug users were drug addicts, however, many experts believe that the scale of “drugstore addiction” has dropped significantly in recent years.
• Despite this prohibition, information about the specific pharmacies that sell psychotropic drugs without asking for a prescription can easily be found on social media. Several journalistic investigations were carried out on this issue and showed that some pharmacies in Tbilisi sell drugs that require a prescription under the counter.