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Ministry of Finance taking on drugs2010-11-24 20:24
Any action may be counteracted - that's the law that the Georgian government is obviously guided by. Minister of Health Sandro Urushadze announced the introduction of restrictions on pharmaceuticals sales. Then he corrected himself: amendments to the legislation will cover only the psychotropic substances capable of damaging the Georgians' health instead of restoring it. The problem seems to be so urgent that the officials decided not to wait until the amendments are adopted: they simply closed a dozen of drugstores and detained their owners.
Georgian authorities resemble a fool from the famous saying who was sent to the market and returned still a fool. Under the guise of fighting corruption, the country's parliament started considering a draft project at the end of October that would help solve a common citizen's problem through cutting short a confederacy between pharmaceutical companies and doctors taking bribes from the sick Georgians for prescribing them certain medicines. "It is necessary to revive the tradition of selling medicines according to prescriptions, following the standards; this especially concerns those drugs that must not be sold at retail without a prescription", - Urushadze is cited by Novosti-Georgia.
A relevant law was to come into effect since next year but the government decided not to wait. And luck! It turned out that a criminal group has been acting in the country, illegally bringing psychotropic substances from abroad. The people were detained, charged, interrogated and then... most of the alleged criminals were released on a 20-40 thousand lari bail. (10 and 20 thousand dollars, respectively). That's a great amount but there is nothing to be surprised at. Such modest fees will only instigate the flow of cash into Ministry of Probation and Execution of Sentences, and its leader Khatuna Kalmakhelidze certainly needs it, for how will she build her comfortable prisons, then? The budget of her administration is to be increased only the next year.
Having released most of the supposed smugglers on bail, the officers left five detainees behind the bars; they will be kept there for two months. Afterwards, they will appear before court that may sentence them to three or five years of imprisonment.