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Beibut Atamkulov: Investments in country's pharmaceutical industry grew by 5.2% and amounted to 4.1 billion tenge

Tuesday, 06 October 2020, 14:58:14

The development of the pharmaceutical industry was considered at a government conference call chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin. Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Beibut Atamkulov made a report on the current situation and future prospects of the industry during the meeting.

“Today sets before us a very clear task of protecting and providing the population with medicines and medical products. The development of the pharmaceutical industry is a priority task for the ministry,” the minister said.

According to him, today there are 96 enterprises in the industry, 33 of which produce medicines, 41 — medical products and 22 enterprises produce medical equipment.

More than 5 thousand people ensure the stable operation of the pharmaceutical industry.

“Growth points” of the Kazakhstani pharmaceutical industry are located in four regions of the country — the cities of Almaty and Shymkent, as well as in Almaty and Karaganda regions. They provide up to 75% of the production of drugs and medical devices.

In 2019, the volume of production at pharmaceutical enterprises increased by 18% and amounted to 92 billion tenge, exports increased by 69% with an indicator of $59 million.

In 8 months of this year, domestic enterprises, providing a high demand for pharmaceutical products, achieved a growth in production of 34.1% or 81.5 billion tenge (8 months of 2019 - 57.6 billion tenge).

Investments increased by 5.2% and amounted to 4.1 billion tenge (8 months of 2019 — 4.09 billion tenge).

In order to develop this industry, a Comprehensive Plan for the Development of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry for 2020-2025 has been developed.

The plan consists of 62 events and 8 sections.

The implementation of the activities of this comprehensive plan is carried out jointly with the concerned ministries, local executive bodies, NCE Atameken and industry associations.

“Within the framework of the legislative regulation of pharmaceutical activity, it is envisaged to simplify access to the domestic pharmaceutical market for domestic manufacturers and foreign investors, as well as to increase the share of local products in purchases and reduce the time of purchase. For example, separate regulation of the circulation of medicines based on the experience of foreign countries (USA, EU, PRC and others) will ensure an accelerated entry of medical products to the market due to different requirements for their circulation,” the minister said.

A contract manufacturing mechanism will be worked out, which will simplify the joint production of global and Kazakh pharmaceutical manufacturers on the existing base of domestic manufacturers.

Also, according to Atamkulov, local content KPIs will be approved for all local executive bodies. Registration of prices for pharmaceutical products will be transferred to the format of a public service.

All of the above activities will be achieved by amending the Code on Public Health and the Healthcare System and other regulations.

“Section of the Comprehensive Plan ‘Circulation of Medicines and Medical Devices within the EAEU’ provides for the harmonization of requirements within the EAEU, the introduction of EAEU standards to promote exports and reduce the cost of domestic products. For these purposes, a transition from the national regime to the EAEU regime is proposed for the registration and examination of medicines and medical devices, as well as a decrease in the rates of import customs duties for raw materials and components,” Atamkulov stressed.

The development of a separate regulatory and legal framework for the development of Kazakhstan laboratories that meet GLP standards is envisaged, the minister noted.

To increase the price competitiveness of domestic products, according to Atamkulov, it is planned to develop a set of measures of state support in terms of reimbursing the costs of conducting clinical trials of drugs, labeling and subsidizing the costs of importing raw materials not produced in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

To further stimulate the production of pharmaceutical products, the territories and activities of special economic zones will be expanded.

As part of research and development work, a mid-term forecast and analysis will be carried out to identify promising sectors for the development of the pharmaceutical and medical industry.

The production of drugs using medicinal plants growing on the territory of the country and a biofactory has been organized to combat plant diseases and pests.

For this, it is planned to increase the volume of research funding, including direct funding for strategic research.

“In terms of the implementation of investment projects, it is planned to attract investments from four transnational companies from among the world's leading pharmaceutical manufacturers Big Pharma — Top 50. To date, we are working on cooperation with Pfizer (USA), Boston Biopharma (USA); Avantgen (USA) and Servier (France). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will prepare investment proposals for targeting global pharmaceutical manufacturers. The work has already begun in cooperation with the global consulting company Deloitte,” noted Atamkulov.

For staffing the industry in the country's universities, a state educational order for the training of specialists will be formed, taking into account the needs of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Professional standards in the field of drug circulation will be updated and harmonized with the national qualifications framework.

“To improve the quality of products and reduce the shadow economy, a pilot project for labeling and tracing medicines will be introduced, and the list of goods subject to mandatory labeling will be expanded. The stages of implementation of mandatory labeling of medicines and its alternative methods will be determined,” Atamkulov reported.

In general, according to the minister, the implementation of all measures of the Comprehensive Plan in the next 5 years will allow achieving the following results:

First, ensuring the launch of at least 30 new production facilities worth $180 million with the creation of 2,000 new permanent jobs. At the same time, taking into account the plans of existing enterprises and the launch of new industries, the production of 297 new types of medicines and 2,348 types of medical devices will be mastered.

Second, an increase in the volume of production of the pharmaceutical industry by 2.5 times from 92 to 230 billion tenge.

Third, an increase in the volume of exports of medicines by 3 times from 58 to $174 million.

In addition, by the first quarter of 2021, the domestic production of masks will be increased by 2 times from 500 thousand to 1 million pieces per month, as well as for gloves by the end of this year from 330 to 530 thousand pairs per day.

“Implementation of all the above measures will ensure an increase in the share of domestic products in the domestic market of Kazakhstan for essential medicines from the current 39% to 50%, which is in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization,” Atamkulov noted.

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