Drug prices soar in Kazakhstan

Website Release Editor
Because of fluctuations of the tenge’s exchange rate and logistical hassle

Kazakhstan pharmaceutical companies forecast that drugs prices are going to soar.

Usually, medicine prices in Kazakhstan are increased every six months. However, this time the increase in drug prices may happen much earlier. The main driver of this change is soaring prices for medicine and medical raw materials.

«The pharmaceutical industry struggles with disruption of supply chains and increasing prices for logistical services. Also, it’s not an easy task to transport pharmaceutical products as they require a special approach while being transported or in storage. That’s why the cost of drugs has soared. Now businesses become less interested in producing and importing the medicine,» said Nazgul Kabdrakhmanova, head of the medical services department of Atameken, the national chamber of entrepreneurs.

There are several factors including high costs, problems with logistics and fluctuation of the exchange rate of the tenge, which make the production and import of medicine unprofitable.

SANTO, a pharmaceutical company from Kazakhstan, has confirmed that it currently has some problems with the delivery of medical raw materials from Europe. However, all these difficulties are temporary and driven by geopolitical uncertainty.

«There are no sanctions against Kazakhstan and raw materials for medicine can be imported freely. Our production division is working as usual,» said the company.

A SANTO representative added that the company has already had knowledge of how to operate during hard times. At the very peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, SANTO was forced to cope with problems with the delivery of raw materials and other medical components. Now, the company relies on stocks of finished products and a warehouse with an additional stockpile of raw materials.

Concerning the supply of medicine from Ukraine, Atameken says that the share of Ukrainian products is about 2%. Many of these Ukrainian drugs have local alternatives, so Kazakhstan consumers won’t see any shortages of drugs.

According to AzharGiniyat, health minister in Kazakhstan, the country bought 25 specific drugs from Ukraine. When the exchange rate changed, the national chamber of entrepreneurs suggested the government reconsider ceiling prices for medicine. The move is supposed to be an effective tool to prevent pharmaceutical companies from leaving the country.

«The government has fully supported the initiative even though its implementation will take some time; some adjustments to the legislation are needed,» said Atameken.

The health minister has also confirmed that information; she noted that the ministry is already reconsidering the current ceiling prices for medical drugs in Kazakhstan.

There are four big hubs of SK Pharmacy in the biggest cities of the country: Almaty, Nur-Sultan, Shymkent and Aktobe. Moreover, the company has regional distribution centers and warehouses. As a result, there are no problems with distribution of medicine within the country.

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