Pharmaceutical sector requires the alleviation of bureaucratic procedures for registration of medical products

Prishtina, March 18, 2020 – The pharmaceutical sector in Kosovo, as one of the key sectors contributing to the general well-being of the public, faces various challenges. Among the most worrying of these challenges are considered the smuggling of pharmaceutical goods, bureaucratic procedures for registration of products, as well as high prices. This was concluded during the latest virtual forum organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, during which the regulation of pharmaceutical sector was discussed with a panel of experts from this sector.

Armend Agani, Chairman of AmCham Healthcare Committee, Director of Agani and moderator of the forum, noted that given the major problems of the pharmaceutical sector of Kosovo, it is very important to discuss as often as possible the most key and urgent problems, as well as the possibilities for giving them soultions.

Arianit Jakupi, President of the Kosovo Chamber of Pharmacists, stated that the pharmaceutical sector in Kosovo is characterized by a work which especially during the last year has shown extraordinary importance, being one of the main pillars of pandemic management. He said that one of the biggest concerns of this sector remains the smuggling of medicine products, as an issue that needs to be resolved urgently. According to Jakupi, there is still a lot of work to be done for a consolidated pharmaceutical sector, and the full implementation of good practices of the pharmaceutical sector throughout its chain.

Milaim Abdullahu, Chief Executive Officer of Santefarm, as well as representative of the Kosovo Pharmaceutical Distributors Association, said that given Kosovo’s small market, there are not many manufacturers interested in registering their products in the country. According to him, high taxes and bureaucratic procedures are discouraging even for those who are interested, so more efforts should be put on alleviating such procedures. Furthemore, Abdullahu also spoke about drug registration procedures, and mentioned the need to better regulate the issue of shortage of products in the market.

Milot Cena, Business Development Manager at Asgeto, spoke about the standardization of operating conditions of pharmaceutical distributors, emphasizing that in Kosovo there are over 20 licensed warehouses, while in other countries with larger populations there is usually a much smaller number of such warehouses. According to Cena, it is necessary to create a special law on pharmacy, which has been discussed for a long time by this sector, while the same would better coordinate and regulate the sector.

Ahmet Hoxha, Pharmacist at Trepharm, a manufacturer of medicine in Kosovo, stressed that as domestic producers, this company does not enjoy the most favorable conditions, and faces even more challenging procedures compared to importing companies. According to Hoxha, a major problem has to do with the aspect of banderoles, which for local producers must be issued through a commission, while importers can receive them within a day through online application. He said that in terms of market regulation, the countries of the region should be taken as an example regarding registration and control of products.