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Official News

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Prime Minister Calls for Consistency in Drug Market Pricing Processes









A regular Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan.

As instructed by the Prime Minister, before proceeding to the agenda, Head of State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition Artak Shaboyan reported back the findings of a study of drug market pricing processes.

In particular, he reminded that as instructed by the Prime Minister, the State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition had carried out a study to ascertain whether there were unjustified price hikes in the domestic drug market.

The study affected five drug importers - Natali Pharm, Alpha Pharm, Vaga Pharm, Amicus and Aesculap. The Commission has monitored these companies’ pricing policy in the period from September to November, 2015 with regard to 483 drugs featuring on the list of the Ministry of Healthcare. The study found that some price increases were due to the rise in prices for the purchase of these drugs. As to other drugs, no significant price changes had been revealed.

“Nevertheless, I would like to assure you that the monitoring will be continued and, if our investigation reveals that the price changes are due non-competitive practices, those responsible will be subject to strict liability,” Mr. Shaboyan pointed out. The Premier called for consistency in the monitoring of drug market pricing processes.

The Government approved the long-term energy system (up to 2036) in development program. According to Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Yervand Zakharyan, considering the technological advances recorded in energy market and energy systems, the regional integration and development trends, as well as the results of talks held with Iran, Russia and other countries, it appears to be necessary to identify and summarize the long term (until 2036) strategically important projects. To this end, there has been developed the energy system long-term (until 2036) development program.

Stressing the importance of the program, the Premier noted that the energy sector is the backbone of Armenia’s economy. The Head of Government thanked the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the US Agency for International Development and other organizations for valuable effort.

The Government next approved a set of legislative amendments. Minister of Justice Arpine Hovhannisyan said that the amendments to road safety regulations were adopted to comply with the directives issued at the September 11 consultation held with the President of the Republic of Armenia. Note that a task force had been set up to this end by the Prime Minister.

The proposed amendments will help address a number of traffic safety-related topical issues. In particular, it is proposed to replace the fines imposed for less significant offenses with verbal warning. The legislative package also suggests waiver of sanctions in cases where the offender eliminates an infringement on the spot. Stricter sanctions are envisaged for driving a vehicle without registration numbers or with counterfeit or replaced registration plates, as well as for driving vehicles in a drunken state.

“We are raising the level of responsibility for driving vehicles in a drunken state up to criminal prosecution,” the Minister said in this connection.

Highlighting the legislative package, Prime Minister Abrahamyan said the task force has submitted fairly unbiased recommendations. “Indeed, it is quite fair to impose stricter sanctions for driving in a state of intoxication.”

The Premier suggested including the legislative package in the agenda of the upcoming extraordinary session of the National Assembly so that could be adopted by this yearend, enabling the citizens to take advantage of the aforementioned positive changes.
 

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