No threat of medicine shortages for Azerbaijan
By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan will not face a shortage of medicines, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov said after visit to a number of pharmacies in Baku on September 22.
The country had begun to regulate the prices of medicines from September 15. So far, prices for over 1057 essential medicines were reduced. Prices for all medicines on sale in the country are expected to be adjusted by the middle of the next year.
“All the country's pharmacies are selling medicines for a single price. Prices for other products will be installed in the near future,” Ahmadov said.
He went on to add that the aim is to improve the level of medical services provided to the population and combating price-gouging.
Ahmadov added that Azerbaijan has the necessary supply of medicines and would not face a shortage.
“The Health Ministry carries out prevention measures in this direction. Problems may occur in connection with the regulation of medical prices, but in the future, they will be fully resolved. The country will not face a shortage of medicines. There are many different types of medicines in the world. If our pharmacies do not have a particular type of medicine, it does not mean that there is no medicine of identical composition,” he added.
Ahmadov reminded that drugs of all price ranges imported into the country will assigned prices by the Tariff Council. “Our goal is not to stop import of expensive medicines to Azerbaijan, but to prevent inflated prices on the imported medicines.”
The government had decided to strengthen state control over the pharmaceutical market since March. The process of price controls on essential medicines is expected to be completed before the end of 2015.
The Tariff Council announced that it cut prices on 1057 medicines at its latest meeting on August 25. A list of these medicines is available on the Council’s website.
Compared with current prices, the prices of 46 percent of cost-controlled medicines have been cut by more than half, and more than 24 percent of medicines by over three times. In general, prices have fallen for 94 percent of all medicines that have regulated costs.
Today, 57 percent of medicines registered in Azerbaijan are produced in Europe, 26 percent in the CIS countries, including 12 percent made in Russia. A small share of medicines is produced in Asian countries.
Moreover, Russia and Iran have offered to produce medicines in Azerbaijan.
The country has registered more than 4,500 brands of more than 20,000 types of medicine. The number of cost-controlled pharmaceuticals will increase in the future.
All medicines imported to Azerbaijan are examined before reaching pharmacies and hospitals. The country bans the import of medicines into the country without a license, permission, or other relevant documents.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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