Medication Prices Decline, Stricter Quality Control Required

Nino Popkhadze, head of the NGO Healthcare Platform, talked to GEORGIA TODAY about the decline in medication costs.

“Georgian pharmaceutical market realities are changing at high speed following on from statements by the major pharmacy networks regarding plans for lowering the cost of medication. Moreover, the Georgian Healthcare Group (GHG) (Bank of Georgia holding) recently purchased the GPC pharmacy network.

Medication price reduction is the logical result of new rules of the game on the market. Despite pharmaceutical companies referring to the GEL exchange rate recovery to substantiate the medication price reduction, this is not the only reason they reduced prices.

First, Humanity Georgia recently entered the market with serious ambitions to supply affordable and high-quality generics. As reported, much of the company-imported medications are already being sold at 30% lower tariffs through various pharmacy networks. According to latest reports, Humanity Georgia plans to import 200 new medications. Naturally, this move will inspire additional changes in the market and medication prices will cheapen further. The Humanity Georgia portfolio consists of the most in-demand drugs.

Another important determinant that is expected to intensify the price reduction process is related to the purchase by Georgian Healthcare Group of the GPC network of pharmacies.

This was an unexpected transaction and, naturally, it will cause changes in the market. GHG has become a serious market player, in fact, one of the leaders in the hospital sector and health insurance markets, thanks to the acquisition of GPC pharmacies.

It is questionable whether it is expedient and correct to unite the full cycle of the healthcare field under the same umbrella, but it is a fact that GHG is gaining momentum and the company is relying on the serious financial potential of the Bank of Georgia. GHG is able to achieve any business task quickly. Its entrance into the pharmacy business will further boost the lowering costs of medication because the company will supply medications to its own insurance beneficiaries and patients and also serve potential clients outside its own networks.

I believe the government is efficiently applying due leverages and promoting a competitive environment without interference in the business process. Thanks to these efforts, the Authorities have kept their promise to lower medication prices and make them affordable. Therefore, at this stage, we should set stricter quality control mechanisms for citizens to be confident that all medications on the market are efficient and of high quality,” Nino Popkhadze said.

Keti Didebulidze

24 March 2016 20:59