TIMOPHEI NIZHEGORODTSEV: NUMBER OF REGISTERED MEDICINES DOES NOT CHARACTERIZE COMPETITION
Representatives of the competition authorities of Russia and Belarus exchanged experiences of regulating pharmaceutical markets
At the Round Table on the “Common market of medicines. Reference prices” in Minsk (Belarus) on 28 February 2019 Head of FAS Department for Control over Social Sphere and Trade, Timophei Nizhegorodtsev, pointed out that in spite of a lot of medicines and dosages, - there are only 18 types of registered tablet forms, - some of them are not known outside Russia.
“Companies that register such a diversity of presentations and regulators that allow them to act like this do not create competition. On the contrary, it creates conditions for artificial monopolies on the market”, stated the speaker.
Moving to medicine substitutability, Timophei Nizhegorodtsev pointed out that “although toady generics form the bulk of the pharmaceutical market in any developed country, most expenses in the CIS member-states fall on original medicine (the reference medicine). Even after their patent protection expires”.
The main reason is unregulated substitutability.
“Holders of patents for original medicines try to maintain monopoly for them using different tricks”, explainedHead of FAS Department. “First of all, involving doctors in marketing of their medicines and disseminating an unreasonable opinion through them about the difference between therapeutic properties and safety of original medicine and generics”.
The speaker also touched the issues associated with medicine registration, compiling lists, wholesale medicine trade, circulation of dietary supplements, and public procurement, emphasizing that “today cartelization in the medical sector is one of the highest among other sectors”.
Regarding state regulation of medicine prices, Timophei Nizhegorodtsev highlighted such issue as lack of interest of pharmaceutical manufacturers in supplying innovative medicine in the countries with small market scope, which reduces accessibility of medicinal assistance for the population in such countries.
“Companies believe that patients can buy their medicine on adjacent markets”, says Head of FAS Department for Control over Social Sphere and Trade. “The only method to interest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the work on such markets is to offer them price premium. For example, when in exchange for office work costs, a company can fix a higher price for a medicine in comparison with markets with a higher capacity”.
Finally, the speaker mentioned new price regulation recently introduced in Russia.
“We moved completely away from a discriminatory costs method of registering medicines – to indicative parameters. It enabled us to reduce 1043 medicine prices on average by 43%”, emphasized Timophei Nizhegorodtsev.