Meeting on the draft strategy of medications supply up to 2025 and its implementation plan
25 december 2012
Dmitry Medvedev's opening remarks:
We have met to discuss the draft strategy of medications supply up to 2025. I am not going to say trite things, as everyone is aware of the importance of medicines in the life of any society. Given the material situation of our people, it is very important to ensure the accessibility of medicines, including affordable prices and reliable supply with due account for the size of our country. This is especially important for the elderly, the disabled, children, rural residents and those who live in remote areas. This issue also has to do with healthcare facilities, which sometimes don’t have a sufficient supply of medications.
I will remind you about the developments on the market, the pharmaceutical market, in the past few years. It has been growing, and rather energetically at that, increasing by 300% in monetary terms. According to experts, it reached almost 800 billion roubles this year, with imported medicines accounting for nearly 80%. Hence, our task, which we formulated more than once, is to saturate the market with Russian-made medicines, to improve their quality and, most importantly, restrain the growth of their prices.
We are implementing the Pharma 2020 strategy for the development of the pharmaceutical industry, and in 2013 we will launch a government programme for the development of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry up to 2020. The programme includes R&D projects and implementation of national technology for the production of medicines, including import-replacing and innovative ones.
There are several other issues we need to discuss, including prices, which is a delicate issue. I have recently met with a group of senior citizens in St.Petersburg. As usual, the meeting focused on the prices of medicines. I’d like to remind you that not so long ago, in 2011, prices of medicines grew by an average of 9%. Thanks to government measures to regulate the prices of essential medicines, growth in 2012 was only 3.2%. This is considerably below the inflation rate, even though it is the mean value, and people will cite completely different figures for some medicines.
Government allocations for the distribution of free medicines in hospitals have doubled since 2007 and exceeded 150 billion roubles in 2012. Allocations for outpatient clinics were comparable, 138 billion roubles, with 100 billion provided from the federal budget and 37 billion roubles from regional budgets. There is also the share of private business, which equals about 500 billion roubles.
A few words about the fundamental tasks, which we must address without delay. First, we must level off the provision of medicines across the country, because currently the difference between regions is considerable, given the country’s size and disparity in the regions’ development. The same is true about allocations from the regional budgets and approaches to organising the distribution of medicines.
Second, we need to use medicines rationally. We should improve the procedure for compiling lists of medicines produced against government guarantees. At the same time, we should proceed from the absolutely unconditional fulfilment of the government’s obligations to the people.
We must continue improving the mechanism of government regulation of prices to avoid the risk of uncontrollable growth. We have long been discussing the possibility of introducing reference prices. Let’s discuss this issue following the completion of pilot projects.
And lastly, it is important to protect the market from low-quality and counterfeit medicines and to develop the control and permission system on the pharmaceutical market. The project was developed together with the regions – representatives of some of them are attending this meeting, as well as with public organisations. It is really important because it concerns nearly every citizen of Russia, so let’s discuss it.