Will the Competition Agency examine the pharmaceutical market of Georgia to identify monopolies and cartel deals? The Agency withholds itself from announcing its future plans. The pharmaceutical market is not being studied currently, according to the Agency representatives.
Experts believe that the pharmaceutical market will be primary examined by the Competition Agency which has already published results of the fuel market research. According to the experts, a constant and vigorous activity of the Competition Agency enables to prevent the emergence of monopolies and cartels. In Georgia, the companies operating in many business sectors are seriously suspected in collusion during the formation of prices enabling them to obtain very high profits.
The experts unanimously mention the pharmaceutical market among the sectors with respect to which reasonable suspicion exists. For example, the Association of Young Financiers conducted a study that showed that pharmaceutical companies make a profit of 500-600%. However, representatives of the pharmaceutical business refute accusations of cartel transactions denying the existence of monopolies in this market as well. According to the founder of the company PSP Kakha Okriashvili, he does not expect that the Competition Agency will launch a study of the pharmaceutical market.
“There is no monopoly in the pharmaceutical market, accordingly, there is no need to study it. And if such a study is conducted, I will regard it as an attempt to free up the market for other players that the authorities intend to bring into the Georgian market. As far as I know, we are talking about foreign companies. As a rule, the so-called “foreign” companies, in fact, are not foreign and the local investors are behind them,” Kakha Okriashvili says.
In his words, he will no longer make any investments in Georgia. The then Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili announced the existence of cartels in the pharmaceutical market of Georgia in late 2012 during a meeting with the businessmen. In response to the Premier’s accusations, Paata Kurtanidze, the head of the pharmaceutical company Aversi, said that no one was restricted in possibilities of doing business in Georgia. But the Prime Minister did not agree with Kurtanidze’s opinion and continued to insist that large pharmaceutical companies systematically stifled the competition in the country.