Turkmenistan bans sale of anti-tuberculosis drugs without prescription


Dr Vladimir Shoukhov, WHO Temporary consultant, holds the first edition of National Drug Formulary which was published with technical support from WHO/Europe

As a result of joint efforts by the country and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, as of 12 April 2012, the Ministry of Health of Turkmenistan banned the sale of anti-tuberculosis drugs without prescription. This is a very important step towards the prevention of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB) in the country.


During the past few years collaboration between WHO/Europe and the Turkmenistan Ministry of  Health has focused on improving access to affordable essential medicines. A series of technical assistance missions have been conducted to improve the regulation of medicines by strengthening the capacity of the National Drug Regulatory authority, and to support the appropriate prescribing and use of medicines. The National Drug Formulary was also developed and introduced into medical practice and medical education in Turkmenistan. Another focus has been on the provision of technical assistance to medical establishments responsible for monitoring the side effects of drugs.

Support for the rational use of drugs was initiated with a seminar held for teaching staff of the Turkmen State Medical University in September 2011. Discussion at the seminar focused on how to advance principles for the rational usage of medical products through undergraduate and post-graduate medical education.