MOSCOW, March 19 (RAPSI) – The State Duma has approved in the third and final reading a bill amending the Criminal and Administrative Offences Codes in a way toughening punishments for online trafficking in falsified and poor-quality drugs, according to a statement of the lower house of Russia’s parliament.

The amended Codes are to set fines ranging from 75,000 to 200,000 rubles (about $930 to $2,500 at the current exchange rate) for individuals selling falsified medicines and biologically active additives via internet; fines for the same offence committed by officials and sole entrepreneurs are to make from 2 to 6 million rubles ($25,000 to $75,000); as an alternative, operations of organizations and small businesses can be administratively suspended for up to 90 days.

The threshold between an administrative offence and a crime is set at 100,000 rubles (about $1,200) as concerns the worth of the medicines and supplements in the dealings, the statement reads.

The Criminal Code is to include new punishments for online trade in poor-quality or falsified medicines: correctional labor for 4 to 5 years and, in some cases, deprivation of right to hold specific posts or engage in certain activities for 2 to 3 years, or imprisonment for 4 to 6 years and fines (at the court discretion) ranging from 750,000 to 2.5 million rubles ($9,300 to $31,000), fines can be also imposed in the amount of the sum of the offender’s wage or salary accumulated over 1 to 2 years. The court can also deprive the offender of right to hold specific posts or engage in certain activities for up to 4 years.

The cases, where sale or import of an unregistered medicine or medical products is contingent on the critical conditions of certain patients, or of medicines not manufactured in Russia, are not to be qualified as offences.

Also today, the State Duma adopted in the third and final reading a bill empowering the government to set maximum allowed prices of drugs and medical products not on the official list of vital medicines, but becoming vitally important in certain situations, for up to 90 days in case of emergencies or outbreaks of infections.

The adopted amendments to the legislation are to enable the government to control prices in the aforesaid cases or in the event the prices of medicines for a 30-day period grow by more than 30% without due justification.