Pharmaceuticals: Critical Analysis and Challenges for Future
Under the chairmanship of the President of Uzbekistan, a meeting was held on February 6 devoted to the analysis of the ongoing work on the development of the pharmaceutical industry and the definition of urgent tasks for the future.
In Uzbekistan, constant attention is paid to improving the health of the people, providing the population with quality and affordable medicines. In the past year, several meetings have been held on these issues. Approximately 30 decrees and decrees aimed at expanding the scale and improving the quality of medical care have been adopted.
Work has been carried out to improve the provision of the population and public health institutions with affordable medicines and medical products. In particular, in accordance with the President's Decree, in November 2017, the Agency for the Development of the Pharmaceutical Industry was established under the Ministry of Health.
The system work carried out in the sphere gives its results. Last year, 1.6 billion conditional packages of medicines and medical products were produced, which is 34% more than in 2016.
Last year, 71 investment projects were launched in the industry, 33 objects were put into operation for $ 148 million, 76 new products were produced.
The meeting critically analyzed the work carried out in the industry and noted the unsatisfactory level of implementation of the tasks set.
Most pharmaceutical companies do not use modern technologies, do not pay due attention to the production of medicinal substances, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Instead of switching to a full production cycle, enterprises are still engaged in importation from abroad and packaging of finished products.
It was noted that only 12 out of 94 enterprises have an international GMP certificate (Good Manufacturing Practice), which ensures the recognition of products in other countries. To expand it, the leadership of the industry lacks initiative. So, deep processing of licorice root for many years remained without due attention. Only after the instruction of the head of our state during the trip to Karakalpakstan at the end of last year was established the Association of organizations for the production and processing of licorice.
The need for special control on this issue, the importance of the transition from a simple collection of wild licorice root to the organization of plantations and the deep processing of this raw material with the production of medicinal substances and agents from it were emphasized.
Criticized was the fact that most of the industry is limited to the production of drugs of a simple formula. The physical volume of production in the industry in 2017 grew by 34%, while the growth in value terms was only 16%.
Despite the fact that domestic enterprises have been granted various privileges for the production of import-substituting products for a number of years, currently 74% of domestic demand is covered by imports. More than half of the 6,824 titles of imported medicines can be produced in our country, but this figure currently stands at only 27%. Medications used in oncology, gynecology, dentistry, are completely imported from abroad.
The state of affairs in supplying state medical institutions with medicines and medical products remains unsatisfactory. The population of our country does not feel the results of reforms implemented in the country at all. This is evidenced by negative reviews in the media, the President stressed.
There are no systems for identifying drug needs and a database containing specific data on this. Nothing concrete has been done about organizing this year thousands of social pharmacies. 9 months have passed since the adoption of the decree establishing seven free economic zones, but the corresponding work was not started in any zone. Their master plans have not been approved; engineering and communication networks have not been built.
In the pharmaceutical industry, the role of research institutes is not felt. At the present time, on the basis of their development, only 1.6 tons of medicinal substances are produced with 16 names using vegetable raw materials. In addition, there are not enough personnel in the industry who can effectively work with modern technologies.
Analyzing these problems, important directions for their elimination have been identified. In particular, the task is to take additional measures to ensure stability and prevent the artificial increase in drug prices in the domestic market. Responsible persons are given specific instructions on the development and approval of general plans for free economic zones, specializing in pharmaceuticals, providing them with all necessary communications.
The issues of training specialists in narrow specialties in pharmaceuticals and organizing internships for industry workers at foreign pharmaceutical enterprises are also considered.