Azerbaijan encourages production of medicines
By Rashid Shirinov
Pharmaceutics remains one of the industries yet to be developed in Azerbaijan as the country is almost fully dependent on imports of medicines. In this regard, some business agreements on construction of new medical plants have already been signed between Azerbaijani and foreign companies, while many are expected to be inked.
The country has favorable preconditions for development of own drug production -- there are two operating Azerbaijani factories, Azerfarm and the Baku Chemical Plant that produce respectively 5 and 45 types of drugs. Nevertheless, the population needs more local-medicines supply with cheaper prices. To this end, the production capacity of these two enterprises should be increased, and more medicines-producing plants constructed.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev focused on this topic on July 10, speaking at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socioeconomic development in first half of 2016 and objectives for the future. He mentioned that the Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Health have been engaged in this issue for over a year.
“As a result, the prices of medicines have dropped significantly. At the same time, there is already strict control over quality. (…) But the time has come for Azerbaijan to begin the production of medicines,” the President claimed.
Appropriate instructions have been issued and currently, negotiations with several foreign companies are under way. Their interest is linked with quite a large volume of the Azerbaijani market and number of population that makes up about 10 million people.
“At present, a serious program for the production of drugs is being designed. A cluster must be created. Thus, we will develop industrial potential in this area too and reduce dependence on imports. At the same time, we will be able to provide our citizens with high-quality medicines,” President Ilham Aliyev said.
This year, the construction of new pharmaceutical factories is expected. Azerbaijan negotiates with several companies from Turkey, Ukraine, Germany and Switzerland for the joint production of medicine products. Currently, there are agreements with two of them – Iranian Tamin Pharmaceutical Investment Company and Russian R-Pharm.
In April, Tamin Pharmaceutical Investment Company signed a Memorandum of understanding with Azersun Holding. This provides for the production of drugs in the Sumgayit Chemical-Industrial Park. That will result in opening of 60 new jobs, and production of 84 local vitamins, antihistamines, diabetic, anti-infection drugs, medicines on diseases of the nervous system and gastroenterological illness.
The Protocol with R-Pharm was signed in June by Azerbaijan Investment Company and Vita-A. The joint business will open 200 jobs, providing population with antibiotics and cures against cancer, neurological, mental illness, hepatitis and AIDS.
Furthermore, Egypt and Hungary are also curious on cooperation with Azerbaijan. Egypt has expressed interest in the opening of a plant on production of medical equipment and drugs in Azerbaijan, in particular medicines against hepatitis C. The country has already got the permission to deliver some drugs to Azerbaijan.
All this is expected to make a positive impact on the Azerbaijani economy and population – the prices will go down, and the production of drugs will provide Azerbaijan with additional capital inflow.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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