Georgia: Health Minister draws attention to ongoing pharmaceutical reforms during parliament session

Georgia: Georgian Minister of Health, Zurab Azarashvili, on Wednesday drew attention to the ongoing pharmaceutical reform during his speech in the Parliament of Georgia.

Along with ensuring quality and financial affordability of pharmaceuticals, we have made it a priority to promote rational use of medicines.” In the process of monitoring the pharmaceutical market, we see the sad reality of a drug addict being offered without a doctor’s appointment. Also, modifying a physician-prescribed medication for marketing benefits and other purposes and not in the patient’s best interests. “This is the negative experience that has been accumulated over many years, which would require a quick and effective response”, said Zurab Azarashvili.

According to the minister, in response to the challenges, Group II pharmaceutical products will be subject to the obligation of ordering only electronic prescriptions and issuing from pharmacies on an electronic prescription basis from April this year. Also, the mechanism of issuing appointments has been changed.

“It’s important that we move to a mechanism that considers prescription drugs not brand, but generic names.” And pharmacists have an obligation to offer the patient the three cheapest products named after generic prescription medicine. A year of the “positive list”. “The list of medicines includes various criteria that confirm the quality of medicines standards and national law,” the minister said.

According to Zurab Azarashvili, the change provides an opportunity to improve several directions simultaneously. These include: promoting safe treatment as well as the prevention of polypragmasia, decreasing the risks of unintentional marketing, increasing the opportunity for patients to get quality medicine at a reasonable price, effective monitoring of medication use, and compliance with existing legislation.

The final component is particularly important in monitoring the circulation of psychotropic medications, as their implementation becomes one of the major challenges. Accordingly, since April of this year, the obligation to subscribe to electronic prescriptions has been established in the case of prescribing psychotropic medications. The changes also include integrating medication rotation data into our ministry’s electronic database, which will allow for more control of psychotropic medication rotation.

The Medical and Pharmaceutical Activity Regulatory Agency actively implements control of electronic prescription ordering and prescription realization of medicines from pharmacies. Violations have been identified, and appropriate sanctions have been imposed. It is noteworthy that the process of forming the Drug Department at the Regulatory Agency will be completed in the coming days, which will create more opportunities for strengthening the drug regulatory framework in the country.

We hope that both the medical and pharmaceutical sectors will fully fulfil the responsibilities set out for the society within the framework of important reform,” Zurab Azarashvili said.


Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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