By Nigar Orujova
Medicine prices will be state regulated in Azerbaijan, as the Cabinet of Ministers has changed the "List of goods (work and services) being price-regulated by the state."
The prices of medicine under state registration will undergo stricter control.
The changes imply that drug expertise services and registered drugs have been included in the "List of goods (work, services) being price-regulated by the state."
Earlier, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev expressed his concerns about the prices of medicines at a Cabinet meeting on the results of the first quarter of 2015.
The president issued a special instruction to exercise stricter control over all pharmacies and to prevent price increases.
“I have to say that the pharmaceuticals market in Azerbaijan, unfortunately, has remained uncontrolled in a sense. In fact, it was unbearable. I can say that this drew more serious attention to this area, and we have revealed serious violations and imperfections here,” President Aliyev said.
He went on to add, that in some cases the prices of medicines inflated several times - even up to 10 times.
The head of state was also displeased with the low-quality of medicines being imported to the country, and ordered the government to exercise stricter control, and develop a new mechanism to regulate the issue. “Prices should not rise. In fact, I think that the prices of some medicines should actually decline sharply,” he noted.
The current rise of medicine prices in Azerbaijan is connected with a sharp devaluation of the manat from February 21, which led to an overnight rise of prices in the local market.
Several measures have been taken to protect customers and control inflation. There was also an offer to organize production of medicines in the country.
Over 4,560 medicines passed the state registration in Azerbaijan in 2014.
All medicines imported to Azerbaijan are checked up before reaching pharmacies and hospitals. The country bans the import of medicine to the country without a license, permission or other relevant documents.
Regulation of medicine prices on the state level will promote the delivery of medicines at lower prices. The Tariff Council will determine 5-10 countries to import drugs. Drug prices for Azerbaijan will be set on the basis of manufacturers’ prices.
Prescribed drugs will be sold at lower prices than non-prescription medicines, whose prices will be higher. Approved prices will be published on medicines packages.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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