The Ukrainian market needs three or five years to fully launch the QR code system for packages of medicines, Commercial Director of Research and Industrial Center Borschahivka chemical and pharmaceutical plant Yevhen Sova has said. “The implementation of the new rules is a step in right direction, but it is a long process, which should be prepared and introduced in phases. The Ukrainian market would require from three to five years to organically introduce the changes,” he told Interfax-Ukraine.
Sova said that the introduction of QR codes for packages would allow helping in fight against counterfeit medicines.
“We are preparing for this at Borschahivka chemical and pharmaceutical plant. The enterprise has installed specialized equipment for placing QR codes on packages,” he said.
The expert said that the monitoring system using QR codes would work only the general public approach at all levels of flow of medicines would apply.
Sova said that the introduction of QR codes on the Ukrainian pharmaceutical market could affect the cost of medicines.
Ukraine in January-February 2018 considerably increased exports of medicines to Russia, cutting their imports from the country. According to the State Statistics Service, in January-February 2018, Ukraine exported medicines for $3.5 million to Russia, which is 18% more than a year ago. Imports of medicines from Russia to Ukraine over the period fell by 40.4%, to $2.85 million.
Last year Ukraine exported medicines to Russia for $27.89 million, which is 31.9% more than a year ago, and imported medicines for $29.79 million from Russia (15.9% down). In 2017, Ukraine exported medicines for $171.17 million, including to the CIS for $143.057 million.
As reported, at present, because of the sanctions imposed on Russia, Russia is discussing the ways of replacing imported medicines and reducing dependence on foreign pharmaceutical companies. The decline in the imports of Russian medicines to Ukraine began after the introduction of the requirement of compliance of drugs with GMP standards in Ukraine.
Ukrainian pharmaceutical manufacturers have noted the need to resolve a number of issues related to the filling and application of the national list of essential medicines. Marketing and Sales Director of PJSC Farmak Susana Khalilova noted at present market participants do not have clear understanding of whether there will be the expansion of nosologies, according to which international nonproprietary names (INN) are included in the list, as well as the expansion of the number of molecules on the nosologies already included in the list.
“Currently we have the opportunity to apply for molecules, but we do not understand how we can justify the introduction [of drugs] for new nosologies, for example such as infertility, diabetes insipidus,” she said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine. Khalilova also emphasized the need to return the Fast Track procedure and simplify the introduction of changes regarding INN included in the list.
Commenting on the problem of applying the updated list at the local level, in particular the norm on 100% compulsory provision with drugs from it, she noted the difficulty of “how the coverage of this 100% need can be showed.”
Head of InterChem-Pharma Trading House Oleksandr Chumak, in turn, expressed the opinion about the need to approve such an edition of the list that would allow the Ukrainian market to plan its production.