NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh Ministry of Healthcare will set price ceilings for wholesale and retail drugs in July, reports Primeminister.kz.
“Price regulation rules were developed, an order was formed for the maximum wholesale and retail prices according to the procedure established by the legislation and prices will be approved in July,” said Ministry of Healthcare’s Committee for Quality Control and Safety of Goods and Services Chairperson Lyudmila Byurabekova.
The aim of state price regulation is to ensure uniform pricing mechanisms for medicine in the wholesale and retail sector, regardless of the region. In this way, medicine will be much more affordable to the wider population. The law will also regulate seasonal price fluctuations, as prices will be set twice a year in January and July.
“Prices may be lower than the established price ceiling, but not higher. There will be a price ceiling for each brand name of the drug, and the cost will be the same regardless of the region of the country,” she emphasised.
Fines of $460-$6,581 and a pharmaceutical licence suspension will be applied to those violating price regulation rules.
Byurabekova emphasised that price regulation will not affect the quality of medicine. Upon registration in Kazakhstan, companies must present documents confirming their products’ safety and quality.
“Price and quality are two criteria that are always taken into account. An expert organisation, the National Centre on Medicinal Product Evaluation, is responsible for product quality… If a drug is registered in Kazakhstan, then its safety and quality is confirmed,” she said in an online Primeminister.kz conference in January.
To accompany the new law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts on the Circulation of Medicinal Products and Medical Devices,” the National Centre on Medicinal Product Evaluation developed a mobile application that provides users with information on a given medicinal product, such as its price and whether it passed a safety and quality assessment. Users may also provide feedback on price hikes.
“If a person sees that the price is higher than indicated on the mobile application, he or she will be able to take a photo and send an immediate appeal that the price is too high at the given pharmacy. In addition, all prices will be posted on the online resources of the Ministry of Healthcare, the Pharmacy Committee and the Drug Evaluation Centre,” explained Byurabekova.