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Nino Popkhadze

Nino Popkhadze: Medication Prices Decline, Stricter Quality Control Required

Nino Popkhadze, head of the Healthcare Platform NGO, has commented on the medication price reduction tendencies.

The pharmaceutical market realities are changing at high paces after major pharmacy networks released statements on plans for lowering medication prices. Moreover, Georgian Healthcare Group (Bank of Georgia holding) has recently purchased the GPC pharmacy network, she said.

‘Medication prices reduction is the logic result of new rules of games in the market. Despite pharmaceutical companies refer to the GEL exchange rate recovery to substantiate the medication prices reduction tendency, this is not an only and main reason for which pharmaceutical companies have decided to lower medication prices.

There are at least two main reasons that have preconditioned the pricing revision in the market. 1) Humanity Georgia has entered the market with serious ambitions to supply the market with affordable and high-quality generics. As reported, several tens of the company-imported medications are already sold at 30% lower tariffs at various pharmacy networks. According to the recent information, Humanity Georgia plans to import 200 new medications in addition. Naturally, this move will inspire additional changes in the market and medication prices will cheapen more. It is worth noting that the Humanity Georgia portfolio mainly consists of most in-demand drugs”, Nino Popkhadze noted.

Another important determinant that is expected to intensify price reduction process is related to the recent transaction, under which Georgian Healthcare Group of Bank of Georgia Holding purchased the GPC network of pharmacies, she added.

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

It is questionable issue whether it is expedient and correct to unite the full cycle of the healthcare field under the same umbrella, but the fact is GHG gains momentum and the company relies on serious financial potential of Bank of Georgia. GHG is able to achieve any business tasks in the shortest period. We should suppose its entrance into the pharmacy business will further boost the medication prices reduction tendency, because the company will supply medications to its own insurance beneficiaries and patients and also serve potential clients outside of its own networks. And this factor is combined with Humanity Georgia effects”, Nino Popkhadze noted.

The Authorities have made their best to promote competition in the pharmaceutical market, she added.

“I believe the government efficiently applies the due leverages and promotes competitive environment without interference in the business process. Thanks to these efforts the Authorities have kept promise for lowering medication prices and making them affordable. Therefore, at this stage, we should set stricter quality control mechanisms so as our citizens be confident all medications in the market are efficient and of high quality”, Nino Popkhadze noted.