Gov’t to reduce drug prices

By: Nigar Orujova

Several measures will be taken to reduce the price of medicines, Hadi Rajabli, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliamentary Committee on Social Policy said.

He said it is necessary to solve several issues to reduce drug prices.

“First, widespread production of medicines should be organized in the country. Most of the drugs that cover the Azerbaijani market are imported, and this, of course, has an impact on prices. Therefore, measures should be taken to encourage domestic production,” he said.

The rise of medicine prices in Azerbaijan is connected with a sharp devaluation of the manat on February 21, which led to an overnight rise of prices in the local market. The government now works to protect customers and control inflation.

The Economy and Industry Ministry insisted that its priority is to stabilize the market and protect prices for basic foodstuffs and medicines. The ministry has also prevented a price increase on flour.

Hadi Rajabli proposed production of iodine, which is also imported from abroad, while it can be produced in Neftchala, as there are necessary facilities there.

The government is taking steps to regulate market relations, he added.

Over 4,560 medicines passed the state registration in Azerbaijan in 2014, the country’s Cabinet of Ministers reported.

All medicines imported to Azerbaijan are checked up before reaching pharmacies and hospitals. The country bans import of drugs to the country without a license, permission or other relevant documents.

The government plans to regulate drug prices registered officially in Azerbaijan. This regulation 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.