The problem of free competition in the Georgian pharmaceutical market is noticeable and should be addressed by the Competition Agency. The market is dominated by a cartel deal of four leading pharmaceutical companies regulating prices on the market.
The discussion to transition to international GMP standards has been postponed until 2018 and this significantly hinders the exports of medicines produced inside the country and also raises questions about the quality of medicines consumed inside Georgia.
Although there is a State Regulation Agency of Medical Activities:
- It does not have sufficient financial resources or a budget to perform its functions effectively. The Agency must have a modern laboratory and a respective budget, both which remain as unresolved problems.
- According to the current legislation, the Agency cannot fully examine the quality of purchased medicies.
- It is important that inspectors more frequently pay official inspection visits to pharmacies and increase the amount of fines for illicit medicines.
Despite the problems, there are some positive developments in the pharmacy market:
- In 2009, amendments were made to the Registration of Pharmaceutical Products. However, in the cases of confessions registration, there are still some risks allowing the entry of low quality medicines. In order to eradicate this problem, coordination should be strengthened and or registration conditions should be reviewed once more between the Georgian regulator and the regulators of high reliability countries.
- Also the prescription management system is an interesting issue in that there are gaps in its administration. Pharmaceutical networks do not always pay fines for medication without prescription. The fines are quite low and this does not serve to prevent breaches.
In conclusion, we can say that the Georgian pharmaceutical market unfortunately remains unregulated which lead to questions and complaints on the part of consumers and other interested people. Problems are identified with the state as well as with producers and importers.
Vepkhia Giorgadze Vice President of Economic Policy experts center