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Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine to change drug reimbursement schemes Posted 24/05/2013

Most of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries do not have modern drug reimbursement policies. However, recently Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine have all taken steps to improve their drug policies and introduce drug reimbursement schemes similar to those employed in other countries.

If introduced, these could completely change the operating environment for both the generic and originator drug markets in these countries. Presently, the rate of growth of originator medicines in CIS countries is lower than that of their generics counterparts.

In Kazakhstan, the lists of reimbursed drugs have been updated (increasing by 40% the number of medicines available free of charge) and a new reimbursement model is being created. This should result in patients who previously paid 50% of the cost of medicines now obtaining them free of charge. In Russia, the Pharma 2020 plan is being implemented in order to improve the quality and accessibility of locally produced drugs. This is expected to result in an effective drug reimbursement system by 2025. Ukraine, on the other hand, has implemented a pilot programme for reference pricing, which involved the introduction of state regulation of the prices of hypertension medicines, along with partial reimbursement of the cost from the state and local budgets.

Currently, the growth rate for originator medicines in these CIS countries is lower than for generics; during 2012 the originator market increased by 10% to almost Euros 6 billion at wholesale prices, while generics grew by 16% to Euros 5.7 billion, according to the latest report from research and consulting company PMR.

The changes are expected to fuel growth in the generics sector, as well as increase the market for originator drugs. Compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) for generics and originator markets are expected to be 15% and 14%, respectively, between 2012 and 2014.

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