Timofey Nizhegorodtsev, the Head of the Department for Control over Social Sphere and Trade of Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia, spoke about the competition in the pharmaceutical market.
“One of the benefits provided by competition are lower prices. However, based on the real-world experience, this axiom sometimes does not work on the medicinal market. The demand for medicines is not flexible and largely depends on opinions in the health care system and patient communities, rather than those of consumers. As a result, despite the availability of several identical drugs from different manufacturers with inflated prices in the retail market, these prices are not going down. We have repeatedly seen this in our investigations,” said Mr. Nizhegorodtsev.
According to the head of FAS of Russia department, today, not everyone is happy with fair competition. Pharmaceutical companies are trying to manipulate registration data and opinions of medical and patient communities. Relations of pharmaceutical companies with the communities of patients and medical specialists should be as transparent and regulated as possible.
“In their public statements, the representatives of health care system and patient organizations should report on conflicts of interest, if this involves a medicinal product, which competes with the drug of pharmaceutical company that finances the activities of such speakers. In addition, in their public statements, all participants in discussions should refer to adequate sources of information. Competition in the drug market should be transparent and fair. When pharmaceutical companies manipulate opinions of medical specialists and patients, this always pursues the goal of inflating the drug prices, and it is a severe problem which, among other things, should be our focus,” said Mr. Nizhegorodtsev.