Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 28
By Elmir Murad - Trend:
From a social point of view, the drug prices are important, Ilkin Majidov, the head of the Secretariat of the Azerbaijani Tariff Council, said in an interview with Trend.
"According to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's order, the prices on state registered drugs are controlled by the government in accordance with the changes made in the law "On drugs" in December 2014," he said.
The Ministry of Economy and Industry, the Ministry of Health and the Tariff Council were charged with the regulation and control over drug prices upon the president's decree in March 2015.
He said that the Azerbaijani Cabinet Ministers has approved the relevant regulations and the Tariff Council - the instruction to regulate drug prices over the past period.
"The best method was to ensure the effectiveness and full transparency of the process to avoid a subjective approach while setting the drug prices," he said. "Afterwards, its implementation began. Some 25 active substances were chosen of this category of drugs at the first stage to regulate the prices on vital and best-selling drugs."
The prices on 256 drugs in 25 active substances were set at a meeting of the Tariff Council July 30, 2015.
Another meeting of the Tariff Council was held on August 25. The prices on 801 more drugs were set. In general, the prices on 1,057 drugs in 25 active substances were approved.
The drug prices were published in the media, on the websites of the ministry of economy and industry, the ministry of health and the Tariff Council.
He said when comparing the prices approved by the Tariff Council and the prices of medicines that are currently being sold, it can be seen that 46 percent medicines became cheaper by over two times, and 24 percent by over three times.
"In general, the prices for 94 percent of the currently sold medicines have been cut," said Majidov. "As it was previously announced, the approved the prices for 1,057 medicines on 25 active substances (except for combined drugs) will come into force on September 15, 2015."
He also said that after the prices for other medicines get approved, a chart of the medicine's costs and the date of new prices' entering into force will be published by the media, and on the websites of the Economy and Industry Ministry (www.economy.gov.az), the Tariff Council (www.tariff.gov.az), and the Analytical Examination Center of the Health Ministry (www.pharma.az).
"As of now, over 4,500 names of medicines have passed the state registration in Azerbaijan," said Majidov. "As I have already said, we are approving the prices of medicines in stages. It was noted earlier that during the price regulation process, 25 essential and saleable active substances were selected, and the price regulation process began with the medicines containing those substances."
He added that the prices for antibiotics, drugs for ischemic disease, heart failure, allergy and inflammation were approved in the first stage.
"Some 55 active substances were selected for the next stage, and we will adjust the prices for the drugs that contain them," Majidov further said.
He reminded that the first stage of this process has been completed on 25 active substances.
"The prices for 15 percent of medicines, which passed the state registration, have been approved," he noted.
The admission of documents (declarations) on the next 55 active substances was announced, he said. "The deadline for receipt of the declarations is September 10," Majidov said. "This process, which is of great social importance, will be continued until the settlement of prices for all drugs. The regulation of prices for most drugs will be completed by late 2015."
The public will be informed about the progress of this process, the names of drugs, the prices for which have been approved, the prices themselves and the dates when they will come into force through the media, he said.
"Regarding the strengthening of control over the market of drugs, I would like to note that prices of drugs will be indicated using one of the methods specified by the ministry of economy and industry, in accordance with the rules approved by the cabinet of ministers," Majidov said.
"The control over labeling of prices on drugs and their correspondence to the prices approved by the Tariff (price) Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan will be jointly implemented by the Antimonopoly Policy and Consumer Rights Protection State Service of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Azerbaijan Republic and Analytical Expertise Center for Medicines under the Azerbaijani ministry of health," he said.
The introduction of the new control system will create conditions for the adoption of joint operational measures to better protect the rights of consumers on the market of drugs and won't allow mislead them on price issue, according to Majidov.
"I would like to note once again that the prices for 1,057 drugs which will enter into force on September 15, have already been approved," he said. "In total, an operational system of price controls, public oversight mechanism have been set up. So, citizens will be able to check the prices in advance. This will allow them to demand the sale of drugs for the approved prices in drugstores."
Edited by CN