Pharma logistics "pain points"

14.08.2020

Pharma logistics "pain points" - expert-forum took place on August 13.

Topical issues of pharmaceutical industry were discussed wthin the framework of the expert meeting: aspects of medicines supply and storage, as well as logistics processes integration.

The pharmaceutical market is one of the most discussed topics in society today.  In June, Kazakhstanis began to actively buy medicines in connection with the COVID-19.  Soon, antipyretic and antiviral drugs, antibiotics disappeared from pharmacy counters. At the same time, medicines appeared from dealers at significantly inflated prices. Medicines have risen sharply in some pharmacies as well.

According to experts, these and other problems of the pharmaceutical market are long overdue and collapse at the most crucial moment.

Murat Abenov public figure, Chairman of the Consumer Protection Coalition of the Republic of Kazakhstan

I know about this problem not only in connection with the coronavirus, pandemic ...

Last year, as a member of the Public council of national trust under the President, I raised these issues. I wrote an open appeal to the President, and one of the topics that I raised was the need to make changes in SK-Pharmacy work.

There were a number of issues: this was the lack of transparency in the work, and issues related to the mechanism for providing medicines to remote hospitals, villages where hospitals were closed.

There were such problems: SK Pharmacy by its activities influences the free market for the sale of medicines in pharmacies; mechanisms of the government overregulates in an attempt to reduce prices are not always effective.

As we remember, flaws in the functioning of the Single Distributor led to large-scale inspections, and, as a result, the release from the positions of the company's management. Yerkhat Iskaliev, appointed in July as the new chairman of the board of SK-Pharmacy within the framework of the forum, listed the operational logistics measures, undertaken by th.organization since his arrival.

Yerkhat Iskaliev, Chairman of the Board of SK-Pharmacy

As you know, there have been many scandals with humanitarian supplies. We studied the problem for half a day. The question was in the package of documents, which is necessary for the elementary passage of a single import ...

Now everything is very much simplified. This document is issued within 24 hours. Many thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, now the goods, become our task when since they arrive at the airport. We applied the standard scheme, it is, according to the technology of the customs committee.  ... The distribution itself began to be controlled by public figures, anti-corruption (Anti-Corruption Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan - ed.), and today we are already tracking good speed.

The work of a pharmaceutical distributor has been improved in many respects:

For the period of an acute CVI situation, all medicines "on wheels" are sent to medica.organizations. The warehouse operates 24/7 by forming duty groups, and the number of scheduled flights has been increased 1.7 times. Shipment times have been significantly reduced - from 2 weeks to 1 week. In addition, there was an agreement - with airlines to speed up the delivery; with Kazlogistic union - of refrigerated trucks.

Iskaliev said that the transparency of medical goods distribution is still a very important aspect of logistics. Currently, th.organization's website has a 'People's Control' function, with the help of which anyone can trace the path of humanitarian aid.  An ordinary business process is equally important whereby all structures understand what they should do.

Ruslan Sultanov, Chairman of the Board of the Economic Research Institute JSC

When we consider the issue of SK-Pharmacy, we must consider the entire supply chain, from import to the moment when medical item is transferred directly to a patient.

The fact is that a large number o.organizations are involved in the very process of providing medicines and medical devices. This is the Ministry of Health, on the basis of the rules of which SK-Pharmacy operates. This is the National Center for Expertise of Medicines, which is responsible for registration and assessment of the safety and quality of all products. Without his permission, not a single product would be imported and sold. And the Republican Center for Healthcare Development, which is participating in the formation of a list of those medicines that will be purchased by the state tomorrow. These are hospitals, local regions that are planning and already delivering directly, transferring a drug or medical device. So, if we do not write strictly transparently and openly all the rules on how this should be implemented, we will not be able to ensure anything.

At the moment, the activity of  SK- Pharmacy is being revised at the legislative level. According to a recent resolution of KZ Government, SK-Pharmacia LLP will purchase medicines for sale in pharmacies. That is, now the Single Distributor is empowered to purchase drugs in bulk for subsequent sale in the retail network at marginal prices. However, in this part it is necessary to deregulate the legislation, Ruslan Sultanov believes.

Ruslan Sultanov, Chairman of the Board of the Economic Research InstituteJSC

Even the current situation, when SK-Pharmacy is endowed with the right of wholesale drugs supply at retail, the issue is not fully regulated by law.

The introduced price regulation in the retail market today will be a barrier for SK-Pharmacia to supply drugs to pharmacies. SK-Pharmacia will not have wholesale prices. No drugs are registered for him. And here the question will arise, how he will send them to pharmacies tomorrow. How will they be able to sell tomorrow, because the Health Code was amended to state that the sale of drugs without retail price caps is not allowed.

Therefore, here we need to work very seriously with bureaucratization and deregulation of legislation in terms of medicines and medical devices. Patients need quality products on time.

In conclusion, we note that the issue of urgently ensuring the availability of medicines is under the special control of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

A Public Council was created. It includes deputies, public figures, industry experts, representatives of patien.organizations and industry associations. Its representatives will be able to monitor warehouses, forecast demand, and participate as observers in negotiations.

Based on the recommendations developed by the Public Council, further urgent and strategic measures of the pharmaceutical industry will be taken.


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