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02 March 2021, 10:54

Belarus negotiating price cuts for some medicines

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 2 March (BelTA) – Prices for essential drugs are constantly monitored by the Healthcare Ministry, the Ministry of Trade and Anti-Monopoly Regulation and other government bodies together with the trade union and other stakeholders, the Healthcare Ministry said in its Telegram channel citing Deputy Healthcare Minister Dmitry Cherednichenko, BelTA informs.

The efforts are aimed at fully meeting the demand for medicines of households and healthcare facilities.

The manufacturer's selling price is the main component of the final patient price; it ranges from 72% to 97% of the retail price. Therefore, the Healthcare Ministry is holding direct talks with manufacturers in order to lower  drug prices. “For example, the office of Bayer AG (Germany) informed the Healthcare Ministry about the decision to reduce the contract prices for the following medicines: Xarelto 10 mg (30 tablets) - by 35%; Xarelto 2.5 mg (56 tablets) - by 25%. The price cuts will apply to all deliveries of these medicines to Belarus, starting from March,” Dmitry Cherednichenko said.

The Healthcare Ministry suggests a number of ways to curb drug prices and pushes for the efficient use of funds in healthcare facilities. In order to prevent a sharp rise in drug prices due to the change in the VAT procedure, the Belpharmacia network of state-run pharmacies decided to sell old batches of drugs and medical products at the prices established before 1 January 2021, the deputy minister informed. According to him, the company also plans to maintain affordable prices for a wide range of medicines using internal reserves. In particular, retail prices for some medicines have been reduced by cutting mark-ups and the cost of purchase. The mark-ups will be reduced further, while customers will be offered discounts of up to 10% in the pharmacy chain.

The Healthcare Ministry recalled that on 23 February the Council of Ministers adopted Resolution No. 100 “On temporary measures to stabilize prices for staple goods” that set price caps for 50 names of medicines. Starting from 1 March, prices for staple medicines cannot rise by more than 0.2% per month as against the last day of the previous month. Differences in retail prices in pharmacies are objective and depend on the manufacturer's price, the arrival period, and the availability of leftovers purchased earlier. A significant share of drugs on sale arrived at pharmacies and pharmacy warehouses throughout 2019-2020.

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