Pharmaceutical products do not recognize a consumption crisis/ Imports increase annually by 17% in 8 months

2023-09-21 07:40:00, Ekonomi CNA

Pharmaceutical products do not recognize a consumption crisis/ Imports increase

Population reduction is causing imports to decline in some categories such as cereals and sugars, but imports of pharmaceutical products in volume increased by 17% in January-August 2023.

INSTAT data show that imports of pharmaceutical products in quantity reached 4,400 tons in the reference period from 3,800 tons in 2022, but in terms of value they decreased by about 1%. This trend indicates an increase in the amount of imported pharmaceutical products, but at a lower price.

Pharmaceutical market experts explain that the value of imports has decreased, as vaccines and antibiotics against Covid-19 have been reduced, increasing the value of imports during 2021 and 2023 (see chart below).

The expansion of import volumes for pharmaceutical products is being driven by increased consumption due to an aging population and increased disease burden. But on the other hand, the scope for further growth of imports in pharmaceutical articles is high because Albanians have the weakest per capita consumption of pharmaceutical products in relation to Europe and the countries of the region.

More detailed data show that Albanians have low access to the main drugs that treat diseases, cardiovascular, oncology, autoimmune, nervous, etc.

For example, new drugs that have a high sales trend in the European and regional markets have not yet been introduced to the Albanian market. They cost a lot and are not affordable for patients, as the state does not reimburse them. For example, Apixaban, Pembrolizumab that treat autoimmune diseases are not present in Albania.

The Albanian market is under development, where traditional generic and off-patent drugs represent 76%, while specialized hospital treatment with innovative therapies only 24%.

Representatives of the pharmaceutical market point out that the needs of the population are much higher than the current supplies. But the global experience has shown that public funding and its correct orientation moves health systems forward and significantly improves health services for the population.

Low budget funding has led to low reimbursement of innovative medications that cure diseases such as cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Budgetary funds for the reimbursement of medications have remained at the level of 10-11 billion ALL for years, even though the needs of the aging population are increasing.

The stagnation of reimbursement funds also keeps the drug market underdeveloped and directs it towards cheaper products./ Monitor Magazine

 Pharmaceutical products do not recognize a consumption crisis/ Imports increase

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