According to Art. 52 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan, every person has the right to health care. In practice, Turkmen citizens regularly face unceremonious violations of their rights.
On November 2, a resident of Bayram Ali, Mary province, bought medications prescribed by a doctor at the "Enar" pharmacy located on Soltan Sanjar Street, no. 8. (THF has complete buyer data).
Arriving home, he discovered that one of the purchased medications, Ceftriaxone sodium, was expired and immediately returned to the pharmacy. They refused to take it back, citing an order from the Ministry of Health, and the demand to show the document was ignored. The pharmacist also refused to return the money. References to the law and responsibility had no effect.
“I went to the central police department and told them everything that happened. I demanded that measures be taken, but the police did not accept my complaint - the young man told our source and asked to make this incident public. - Neither the police nor the prosecutor’s office consider citizens’ complaints at all. There is no control over them, I’m already tired. Many medications are expired, so they are sold without packaging, but by the piece, to hide the expiration date; potassium permanganate and hydrogen peroxide are not sold at all. In general, throughout the country, officials are often looking for benefits to the detriment of ordinary citizens.”
No one answered the activists' calls to the phone number indicated on the check.
Pharmacy workers and police are well aware that expired medications can put a person’s life in danger, even death. Persons involved in intentionally causing harm to health, according to Article 107 of the Criminal Code, are imprisoned from three to eight years.
Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights