Immediately after the summer holidays, the State Duma will hold a second reading of the bill presented by the Health Ministry ("On the basis of health protection of the Russian Federation citizens"). According to doctors of the Pirogov movement, the document "presents a clear objective of further destruction of the existing health care system, shifting away from free medical care, and increasing corruption in medical sphere." General public and physicians were excluded from discussing the new bill by Golikova’s ministry, which was written primarily for the sake of articles that deprive municipalities of their health care institutions and remove an obstacle to closing hospitals and paramedical stations in villages and districts.
However, for Tatyana Golikova, the Health Minister, the early adoption of the new bill is quite beneficial. With the bill becoming a law, treatment of any disease will be conducted in accordance with standards approved by the Health Ministry. For example, standards for specialized care to patients with acute coronary syndrome will include mandatory use of Brilinta (ticagrelor), an expensive drug produced by the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca, as a medication for blood thinning and clot prevention. This costly drug has not yet been registered in Russia, and therefore there is no evidence as to its efficacy and safety. At the same time it is Plavix – clopidogrel that is recognized to be gold standard in modern Russia. Moreover, this drug has the so-called generic drugs, that is, copies of a brand-name drug, which are no different from the original and are affordable to any pensioner.
Damage to the budgets of all levels in terms of health care spending is worth tens of billions of rubles. The realities are clear: drug prices rise, over the year the range of affordable medicines decreased by 40%, and pharmacies close down. There is a drop in the availability of medications in both in- and out-patients. These findings are recognized by the state government and by local ones, not to mention experts, non-government organizations, doctors, and, most importantly, general public.