Over 100,000 Georgian citizens have purchased drugs imported from Turkey over the two months since the launch of the Government initiative to lower medication costs on the local market by importing products from Turkey, Health Minister Zurab Azarashvili has said.
Speaking to MPs in the Minister’s Hour format of the Georgian Parliament, Azarashvili said the reduction of local prices by the initiative meant customers had spent 15 million lari ($5 million or EUR 4.7 million) instead of 50 million lari ($16.5 million or EUR 15.6 million) on medication in the time period.
He also noted more than 400 drugs were currently available on the local pharmacy market, pointing out the “daily growing number” of Turkey-imported medicines.
The official called the decision of importing the products from Turkey-based producers “one of the most successful steps” of the Government, noting the reform had facilitated a reduction of prices by “up to 80%”.
Azarashvili’s comments also elaborated on the quality of the imported medicines, pointing to meetings with representatives of the Turkish Health Ministry and major pharmaceutical companies to ensure the quality of imported medicines met the “highest international standards”, including the Good Manufacturing Practices standard.
“We got acquainted with the production processes of medicines on the spot and received a guarantee from our Turkish colleagues regarding the quality of medicines,” Azarashvili told lawmakers.
He also announced plans for the establishment of a “national laboratory” in Georgia – “in line with modern standards” – until the end of the year to provide “additional mechanisms for regulating the quality” of medicines circulating on the local market. (Agenda/Business World Magazine)