MOSCOW, March 17 (RAPSI) – The State Duma passed a bill on the prevention of overpricing in pharmacies in the face of an epidemic in the first reading on Tuesday.

The bill has been drafted by lawmakers of the lower house of Russia’s Parliament from the ruling United Russia party. The initiative seeks to amend the law on drug circulation, which contains provisions regulating the operations of pharmacies, in a way precluding situations, where drug stores overprice medicines.

The bill fixes definitions of pharmacy chain, mobile pharmacy unit, medical drug promotion services.

Moreover, the document restricts the number of organizations which may be included in a pharmacy chain and sets a 5% maximum amount to charge the goods promotion. There is also a proposal to oblige drug stores to inform customers about a minimum price of medicine.

Another provision of the bill reads that a unified register of pharmacists must be created in a similar way to the medical register in order to improve levels of their professional competence and personal responsibility of pharmacy chiefs.

Earlier, President Vladimir Putin stated that it was necessary to withdraw licenses of pharmacies overpricing the means of personal protection and antivirus medicines amid fears stemming from the fight against the spread of coronavirus.