The FINANCIAL — “We can’t work for loss,” Paata Kurtanidze, General Director of Aversi Pharma, one of the leading pharmacy companies in Georgia, told The FINANCIAL, just after National Bank of Georgia made the statement, blaming pharmaceutical companies for raising prices on medicines, which plays a key role in inflation.
“In contrast to other kinds of products, rising medicine prices play a key role in inflation,” National Bank of Georgia (NBG) stated on Friday. Akaki Tavadze, lecture of ESM Tbilisi School of business, says “NBG is making political advertisements blaming others”.
“The index of annual inflation was reducing over the last few months. In November the annual index of inflation was 6.3%. It considerably decreased the amount of market inflation.”
“Price changes are caused because of inflation and for no other reason. We can’t understand why NBG blamed pharmacists in influencing inflation,” Paata Kurtanidze, General Director of Aversi Pharmacy, told The FINANCIAL.
“After the 17% inflation that took place in Georgia on November 7-10, the prices of medicines rose by 12%. We import medicines from Europe and the USA. We also produce some of them. The increased prices of medicines were caused by inflation. The margin between the net and selling price is 12%,” Kurtanidze noted.
“NBG is trying to blame someone and move people’s concentration toward this. Of course the prices rose, but the reason for this is the inflation of the national currency. Georgia is an importer country and all importers buy products in foreign currency,” says Akaki Tavadze, lecturer of ESM Tbilisi School of business.
“NBG is making political advertisements and blaming others. Why did they not note that their policy towards the national currency and spending huge amount of reserves was wrong? All we can do is guess at why did it,” Tavadze noted.
“Financial aid is being sent by donor countries and organizations in foreign currency. And the Georgian Government then benefits a lot from the currency exchange,” Tavadze claims.
Aversi General Director says the company will not reduce current prices on medicines. PSP and GPC, two other leading pharmacy companies in Georgia preferred to keep silent and not answer questions related to NBG’s statement.
“We can’t reduce prices as we can’t work for loss,” Kurtanidze, Aversi, declared.
“I don’t think that pharmacies will reduce prices and they should not to do so,” Akaki Tavadze, ESM comments, “Because they will lose their customers’ trust,” Tavadze explains.
“If the Government thinks that increased prices of medicines hardly influence inflation, they must use other methods to control the situation,” Tavadze says. “Monopolies or even oligopolies of companies always mean to leave citizens without any alternatives,” Akaki noted. He says the main problem in Georgia is that there is no anti-monopoly system in place to defend customers.
According to NBG since the previous committee’s meeting, the outlook of economic development is more pessimistic. Foreseeing the world economical crisis and to control inflation NBG will soften monetary politics. It will continue observation of economical events and financial markets and will receive a corresponding decision,” NBG said.
“According to the new law on NBG activity, if the volume of inflation reaches a two-digit number, the National Bank President will be dismissed from his office,” Tavadze says.
Written By Madona Gasanova