This is the second time the government has had to give up on the idea and give people “time to psychologically prepare” for the change
Armenia has again postponed the transition to a stricter prescription based system of the sale and purchase of medication – this time, for four years.
The idea was first floated during the Velvet Revolution of 2018, but the decision was was postponed after public pressure and objection.
Social media users write they do not want to waste time in queues to see doctors, and queues are almost guaranteed to grow, given one will have to see one before obtaining a prescription.
Another point of discontent is that doctors visits are not free, and for the poor, this may make treatment even more costly and in some cases, unattainable.
The decision to transition to a prescription-only system was most recently put forward on March 1.
However, it was planned to introduce restrictions on the purchase of medicines without a prescription from a doctor gradually.
This decision caused public objection, and soon, people began selling blank proscription documents online for 5,000 AMD (about 10 USD).
That’s why in June 2018, the law was put off for a year, until 1 July 2019, when the government explained the need to study the possible risks of these restrictions, including corruption.
What was decided this time
Now the new, post-revolutionary government of Armenia has again decided to postpone the sale of prescription drugs, earlier scheduled to begin July 1, 2019.
The Ministry of Health explained its decision by the fact that the public is not yet ready for a new procedure for purchasing drugs:
“Citizens should get used to the fact that medicines must be bought with a doctor’s prescription. It takes time for psychological preparation. It would be wrong to introduce a mechanism for the entire list of drugs immediately. First, you need to get used to buying antibiotics with a prescription, then it will become a habit to visit a doctor for a prescription, for example, for a prescription drug. ”
Now the sale of prescription drugs will take effect from January 1, 2023.