Medicine Costs to Be Lowered, Transparently

A new pharmaceutical factory is to be built in Georgia to reduce the cost of drugs in 2018. The new factory will be able to produce 900 kinds of medicines for local market and export in a USD 131 million project being implement by the Partnership Fund and Humanity Georgia, which represents Austrian Humanity Holding GmbH Consortium group.

The problem of high drug prices has affected the residents of Georgia for many years. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs and the Government of Georgia confirm that this is one of the hottest topics today, and recognize that the prices in-country are substantially high.

After coming to power in 2012, the current government promised to make price-cuts a priority, but no significant steps were taken in this regard until Austrian company Humanity Holding GmbH made a proposal to establish the company ‘Humanity Georgia’ and build a factory for the production of essential drugs, as a result of which the prices will be much lower than for existing drugs.

According to Head of the Partnership Fund, David Saganelidze, construction of the factory will begin in spring 2016 and after two years will be ready to operate.

Employing around 300 local and foreign specialists, the factory is expected to meet international standards. Of the approximately 1,000 registered drugs in Georgia, the factory will produce at least 900 of the most in-demand. Moreover, the drugs from the Georgian factory are to be exported.

“Naturally, the drugs produced here will be generic [not original], but they will have a high quality,” said Saganelidze. “Further, they will be affordable for our population. Following the launch of the factory, we expect drug prices to be cut by half. And before that, in the near future, prices are expected to be reduced by 30 percent,” he added.

According to Humanity Georgia’s website, their main purpose is to produce medicines at affordable prices and they focus particularly on developing countries. Yet their appearance on Georgia’s pharmaceutical market has given rise to a number of questions. One of them was the incomprehensible decision of the State to sign a contract with a new company while there are already pharmaceutical companies well-established here. In addition, according to the NGO Transparency International Georgia, David Saganelidze’s nephew holds one of the head positions in Humanity Georgia.

Saganelidze responded that the government is in favor of open competition. Moreover, his nephew in fact is the deputy director of one of the departments of the company, but this is due purely to his own qualifications. “I want to highlight that the negotiations between the Partnership Found and Humanity Georgia started before my appointment as the head of the Fund (October 2015) and my nephew was already working there. As such, I have no personal connection with his current position,” noted Saganelidze.

Eka Karsaulidze

15 February 2016 19:31