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“Generic Drugs Should be Affordable for Georgian Population” — Amiran Gamkrelidze

Health Minister of Georgia David Sergeenko presents to the society results of his Ministry’s three-year work. Amiran Gamrkelidze Director General of the National Center for Disease Control joins in with the conversation on Generic Drugs in Georiga.

Sergeenko talked about healthcare system’s future prospects. Some of healthcare’s main reform goals, according to the Minister, include: implementing Primary Healthcare, creating Universal Healthcare’s cost efficient model, and implementation of Electronic Prescription Drug system.

The Ministry of Health is planning to establish a new standard in terms of quality control of medicines. Minister believes that the generic segment resolution is a necessary condition in order to increase access to medicines in Georgia, and give more incentive for the domestic production. However, in order to implement the above, it is necessary to come up with a drug quality control system.

“Generic drugs are the same as a brand medicines, as they are called – their composition is the same as the brand medicines’. Generic release shall be granted after the patent of purchased brands expire. This is the so-called International patent protection mechanism. The only exception was made in the late nineties, when the AIDS medicines allowed Generics. Thus a Generic, which goes to the laboratory quality control, is of same effect as the brand drug, ” Director General of the National Center for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze explains.

Gamkrelidze said that the country needs a proper quality control service to deal with problems concerning healthcare: “It is global practice to prescribe precisely generic drugs. Therefore, the Ministry is working on implementing this project in Georgia. I think that this year we will already have a specific strategy. ”

As for the prices of medicines, Gamkrelidze considers that medicines cannot be cheap. ” Creating a new drug costs about a billion dollars, and it needs quite a long period – 8-14 years. The problem should be regulated in the other direction, the system must be held and controlled. We want the citizens to be able to purchase these generics, obviously. So we are working on making them affordable” Amiran Gamkrelidze told CBW.