The Georgian government has pledged to introduce regulations in the pharmaceutical sector to reduce drug prices.
The government is set to reduce prices by 40-50% and cut medical expenses of the population by 15%.
Akaki Zoidze, a health expert and former Chairman of Georgia's Parliamentary Health Care and Social Issues Committee, says we don’t need to reinvent a new wheel as ways to cut the medicine prices are well known.
In particular, the parliament of the previous convocation conducted a study on the measures that could lower prices.
“After the launch of the universal healthcare program, high medicine costs became the source of the impoverishment of many people in the country. All interested parties were involved in the study, all the necessary regulations were developed to improve medicines affordability, ”the former MP says.
Zoidze talks about removing barriers to business, allowing small companies freely enter the market.
“Of course, there will be cases when the reduced prices for medicines will not be enough but in this case the government should financially help socially vulnerable populations. All these measures will cut medical costs in the country by 15%, ” Otar Zoidze notes.
the pharmaceutical sector have not yet commented on the Prime Minister’s statement that medicines in Georgia are sold with a 300-400% mark-up. He announced new regulations but didn’t specify term and the meaning of the planned regulations.
The recent statement of the General Director of Aversi Irakli Purtseladze can be considered as a response of the pharmaceutical sector to the planned regulations concerning the introduction of fixed prices for certain drugs. The initiative was discussed several months ago, but was not adopted.
Purtseladze believes that the introduction of fixed prices will cause significant harm to the pharmaceutical sector and create a shortage of medicines.
“90% of the drugs are imported, their price does not depend on the business or the government, but on the exchange rate of the national currency. If fixed prices are introduced, the shortages will likely be created and many drugs will disappear from the market. We cannot support this approach as fixed prices will halt the development of the pharmaceutical industry.