Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for July 28, 2006


I had to order my vitamin injection from Romania. My wife was a little leary about ordering from a somewhat corrupt country. So why Romania of all places? Doctor Google?

ROMANIA COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDE FY 2002

VITAMIN MARKET

Vitamins are extremely popular in Romania but consumption frequency tends to be low. The main reason for consumption is a result of the relatively low per capita income of the Romanian population. Vitamins are supposed to provide biological strength and enable the individual to cope better with fatigue, stress, illness, malnutrition, and mental and physical efforts. The Romania’s vitamin market size reached US$ 19.5 mil. in 1999.

The National Medicines Agency (ANM) and the Ministry of Health have stipulated that high dosage vitamins be classified as pharmaceuticals, thus requiring importers to obtain import licenses and requiring local manufacturers to obtain product registration.

The National Drug Institute has proposed to reclassify vitamins to conform with regulations in the US, Germany, and France. Single vitamins will be classified as food products and only high dosage vitamins A, D, E, and K will be classified as prescription drugs.

Market Information:

The largest selling products in the market are low cost Romanian vitamins produced by Eurofarm and Sicomed as well as imported products manufactured by such companies as Glaxo Wellcome, Sanofi, UPSA, Novartis, Walmark, Bristol Meyers, and Liner Health. Hoffmann La Roche vitamins are intended for urban areas with average and high incomes.

During the period of 1996-98, the vitamin and pharmaceuticals market recorded an upward trend in sales and revenues. However, in 1999 the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar was reflected in a decrease sales figure of all major international producers. The lower purchasing power compelled vitamin consumers to buy Romanian products because of their lower price. Thirty-five to forty percent of Romanians used vitamin C, multivitamins, calcium, and magnesium produced by local firms. 57.70% used vitamin C, 47.90% used multivitamin, 42.80% used calcium, and 23.10% used magnesium. The most popular foreign multivitamin are: Magne B6, Plusssz, and Supradyn. B complex and minerals share a large portion of the market.

Food supplements don’t need any special approval for registration. They are found in supermarkets, the most popular ones being: Kruger, Pluzz, and Pez . For food supplements, the importer must obtain an approval of the Institute of Hygiene.

It is worth underscoring that there is no educational program. Products need to be designed to provide consumers with answers to simple questions such as: what are the vitamins? When do we need them? When do we use them?

Market Access:

Romania’s pharmaceutical vitamin manufacturers include foreign-owned, Romanian – owned and joint-venture firms. The foreign-owned firms are also major importers. Most of the locally owned firms are small to medium size enterprises with low level production technology, focusing on few vitamins. There is a remarkable difference between the registration of dietary supplements and registrations/OTCs, the first ones needing approximately five months for registration, while drugs and OTCs are registered in a period of approximately two years from the moment of submission. This amount of time are considered only if all registration related documents are in good order.

Vitamin dosages that are less than, or equal to the following standards are classified as Food:

Vitamin

A 1000ug (3300UI)

D 5ug (200UI)

E 10mg

C 60mg

B1 1.4mg

Folic acid 400ug

B2 1.6mg

B6 2mg

B12 3ug

PP 18mg

Calcium 800mg

P 800mg

Fe 14mg

Mg 300mg

Zn 15mg

Na 2300mg

Cu 1.25mg

SE 20ug

F 1.5mg

For children, the concentrations have to be half of the ones described above. The maximum admitted dose for one-a-day multivitamin is twice the above dose for liposoluble vitamins, and three-times the above dose for hydrosoluble vitamins.

Trade Procedures:

There are no known barriers imposed on imports of vitamins to Romania. Currently, there are no known forthcoming regulations or legislation that would impede imports.

Ok…I feel better now…

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July 28, 2006 - Posted by | Health | , ,

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