12/01/2023, 10.09
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Mirziyoyev promotes medicines made in Tashkent

by Vladimir Rozanskij

In a country still shaken by scandals caused by the poisoning of hundreds of children by harmful preparations, the president unveils a plan to further boost local medicine production. Proposed 173 new projects worth USD 1.5 billion, but also aid to help companies meet international standards and a proper tracking and verification system.

Tashkent (AsiaNews) - The president of Uzbekistan, Šavkat Mirziyoyev, held a special extended council to illustrate the development plans for the production and distribution of medicines in the country, still shaken by the numerous scandals caused by the mass poisoning of children due of harmful preparations.

Three female doctors are currently in prison, including the country's main endocrinologist, accused of having spread Antistrumin for the "iodization" of children in schools at the beginning of November, causing serious respiratory crises which led to over 600 children being hospitalized, and many of them are still in serious condition for almost a month.

Mirziyoyev instructed the Ministry of Health and other relevant institutions to raise the level of pharmaceutical localization to 35% paid by manufacturers, for the 50 most used medicines in the country.

Local producers, who currently occupy less than 20% of the market, will have to cover a segment of more than 40%, and commit to creating original preparations.

According to data from the presidential press office, in the last six years pharmaceutical production has already increased three times, and exports six times; 177 projects worth 525 million dollars have been launched, creating up to 50 thousand new jobs, and this trend must now be further relaunched.

The president insists on the fact that "we have not yet expressed our full potential... every year in Uzbekistan pharmaceutical devices worth 1.6 billion dollars are used, and only a small part comes from local production, the rest is all 'import".

The State has tried to give great support to the sector, investing heavily and creating special "pharmaceutical zones", which, however, are not used in the right way. Localization must be expanded to be able to reach everyone, and to create job opportunities everywhere.

The message to the assembled council underlines the importance of learning from the experience of foreign partners, attracting big brands to the country's domestic market. One indication concerned the need to speed up the construction of the Tashkent Pharma Park cluster, involving other private investors. Uzbek pharmaceutical companies must be helped to reach the international GMP standard, and form an adequate tracking and verification system.

In total, 173 new projects have been proposed for 1.5 billion dollars, to which the State will allocate 600 million from the budget. According to those responsible for these projects, the production of medicines worth a further 400 million dollars will be activated by 2024, with exports estimated at 160 million.

The new director of the Agency for the Development of the Pharmaceutical Sector, Abdulla Azizov, gave an interview in this regard to the Uzbekistan 24 channel, confirming these figures and estimating an increase in exports of Uzbek-produced medicines, which should rise from the current 120 million of dollars up to 600-700 million.

According to Azizov “we have enough personnel to achieve these objectives, but we must work to raise their qualifications, collaborating with specialists to start creating original products”.

Centers for the development of biotechnology will be opened, involving experts from the USA and China, where this direction of research is most developed. The registration procedures for new companies will also be facilitated to aid this productive and technological conversion.

Particular attention will be paid to the use of local herbs and plants for medicinal purposes; currently 75% of 750 different types of plants are used, but we are confident in the "unexpressed potential" of this field, and in general of all the great natural, intellectual and working wealth of the people of Uzbekistan.

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