Measures to develop rural medicine and pharmaceutical industry considered by Government

On March 11, Saturday, there was a meeting of the Republican headquarters for implementation of President Tokayev's election program, chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.

The Minister of Healthcare Azhar Giniyat reported that in order to improve the quality of medical care in rural areas in November last year, the National project "Modernization of Rural Health" was approved. It envisages construction of 655 primary healthcare facilities, including 253 first-aid posts, 242 feldsher-midwife stations, and 160 ambulatory clinics.

In addition, it is planned to modernize 32 multidisciplinary central district hospitals (in 2024 there will be 7 of them and in 2025 editions - 25) with the opening of stroke centers, cardiology, intensive care and rehabilitation departments, as well as equipping them with CT, MRI, ultrasound, bypass ventilation, etc. In parallel, the training of 1,100 medical workers for rural health facilities will be carried out.

Akims of Abay region Nurlan Urankhayev, Karaganda region Yermaganbet Bulekbayev and Deputy Akim of Ulytau region Ulantay Usenov also made presentations on the work being done.

Prime Minister stressed that for almost all medical facilities, construction of which will begin this year, plots have already been allocated. The only exception is the Ulytau region.

"Within a week this issue should be closed by the akimat," Alikhan Smailov said.

Head of the Government also pointed to the need to complete the development of design and estimate documentation for the construction of new primary care facilities by April 1, and to prepare documentation for major repairs and reconstruction of multi-purpose district hospitals by May 1. With the opening of the construction season, all regions need to start implementing projects.

However, he added that for timely implementation of the planned measures it is required to promptly bring the engineering communications and roads to the construction sites, enter into contracts with contractors.

According to Alikhan Smailov, it is necessary to provide new medical facilities with personnel, in particular, to provide them with a full package of social support.

"I would like to point out that every stage of implementation of the National Project will be accurately tracked within the framework of the project management system," he said.

The meeting also considered measures to bring the share of domestically produced drugs in the domestic market up to 50%. According to Minister of Health Azhar Giniyat, in order to achieve this figure measures are taken to develop the pharmaceutical and medical industry of the republic, build scientific and human resource capacity, improve the regulatory framework and digitalization of the pharmaceutical sector as a whole.

At the same time, active work on opening of joint ventures and localization of production of the leading companies of the world pharmaceutical industry is carried out. These include Hoffmann-La Roche (Switzerland), Pfizer (USA), Novo Nordisk (Denmark), Takeda (Japan), SK Plasma (South Korea) and others.

Head of the Association for the Support and Development of Pharmaceutical Activities Marina Durmanova voiced her suggestions at the meeting. She touched upon the issues of extending long-term contracts between the suppliers of medical products and a single state purchaser, pricing, taxation, labeling, creating special economic zones and pharmaceutical clusters, simplifying the registration procedures for domestic medicines and medical products, expanding access to credit resources, export support and others.

Alikhan Smailov instructed the Ministry of Healthcare to analyze the sounded suggestions and take into account in the Roadmap to bring the share of domestically produced drugs in the domestic market to 50%.

Summing up the discussion, he noted that over the past few years, the pharmaceutical industry of Kazakhstan has shown steady growth: expanding the range and increasing volumes of drugs. At the same time, their share is still growing slowly, now at 28%.

"This suggests that a stable annual increase in production is needed. In this regard, it is necessary to conduct an audit of all pharmaceutical companies. We need to know clearly the potential of their development and capacity building," Prime Minister said.

In addition, he stressed the importance of long-term contracts for essential medicines and medical devices.

"Particular attention should be paid to drugs for the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. To do this, we should first approve a list of such drugs taking into account the needs for the coming years," the Head of Government stressed.

Prime Minister added that all measures considered should be reflected in the appropriate Roadmap until 2029, which should be approved within a month.

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