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State regulation of drug prices discussed in Government of Kyrgyzstan

First Vice Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Artem Novikov held an offsite meeting with representatives of pharmaceutical companies and domestic manufacturers of medicines and medical devices.

According to the press service of the Government, representatives of pharmaceutical companies voiced issues related to state regulation of drug prices, problems with delayed payment for supplied drugs by healthcare organizations, problems with registration and re-registration of drugs, readiness of the domestic drug market for EAEU requirements, and also expressed their fears about the introduction of VAT, which may lead to an increase in the illegal import of drugs and their rise in price.

We have been regulating the market so much that even the slightest changes in packaging design require six months of approval at the Department of Medicines and Medical Devices.

Artem Novikov

«Obviously, not everyone works according to the rules in the highly profitable pharmaceutical market. There are certain suppliers who are trying to work using gray schemes, making the maximum profit. There are such facts, otherwise people would not be outraged at the difference in the price of medicines in Kyrgyzstan and other countries. This isn’t just about prescribed drugs. Many manufacturers are not interested in registration of drugs in Kyrgyzstan due to the small size of the market that affects the price of drugs. We must simplify as much as possible the requirements for registration and re-registration of drugs, as well as create an opportunity for recognition of drugs circulating in Europe, Russia and some other countries. Moreover, the Department of Medicines conducts only paper checks. At the same time, we must step up supervision over the quality of pharmaceuticals on the market and introduction of a mechanism for state regulation of prices for vital drugs,» Artem Novikov noted.

Representatives of pharmaceutical companies generally supported the idea of ​​government regulation of drug prices.

«This practice is used in many countries around the world. However, in our country, the mechanism of state regulation should be introduced gradually. We have a small market, and it is not ready for a full-fledged introduction of state regulation. We are ready to discuss this issue. For this, in particular, it is necessary to bring the regulatory legal acts into conformity,» representatives of pharmaceutical companies believe.

They also touched upon the problems of import of diagnostic reagents, medical gloves, computed tomography devices, interaction with the Customs Service, registration of medicines and medical products according to the rules of the EAEU, activities of prescription and production departments at pharmacies.

Artem Novikov instructed, within two weeks, to finalize and make appropriate changes to the draft regulatory legal act on the import of medicines, on reduction of term of registration and re-registration of foreign and domestic drugs, development of criteria for gradation of changes in the registration dossier, as well as introduction of the principle of «silence gives consent» in the absence of a response from the authorized body.

In addition, the Ministry of Health and Social Development was instructed to optimize the activities of the department and speed up the digitalization process in it, to form a schedule of the need for drugs against coronavirus infection by months to eliminate formation of a shortage of drugs in pharmacies, and also to prepare an action plan for switching the work of the domestic pharmaceutical market to the EAEU principle.