Kazakh Health officials explain how the country’s drug shortage is being addressed
Measures aimed at increasing the availability of medicines to the population, as well as the formation of a reserve of drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 patients were discussed during a press briefing, which was held with the participation of Chairperson of SK-Pharmacy Yerkhat Iskaliyev and Kazakh Deputy Health Minister Lyudmila Byurabekova.
“When forming a reserve on the basis of SK-Pharmacy, the forecasts of diseases were taken into account, both for viral diseases and for coronavirus infection. On this basis, reserves were formed for free outpatient and inpatient drug provision, as well as for retail,” Byurabekova explained.
Iskaliyev said that Kazakhstan has developed a set of special measures to solve the problem of the shortage of medicines in the shortest possible time.
“The measures included a shipment of a monthly supply of medicines worth 2.6 billion tenge (US$6.2 million) for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, additional purchases amounting to 8.7 billion tenge (US$20.8 million) accommodating 40,000 patients, and formation of a two-month reserve of drugs for the treatment of 100,000 coronavirus patients in the amount of 24 billion tenge (US$57.4 million) to prevent the second wave of COVID-19,” Iskaliyev said.
He stressed that the modernization has also affected logistics, the format of which has now been transferred from static to dynamic accounting. In case of an acute situation with COVID-19, all medicines will be sent directly to medical institutions of the country.
“For the period of acute COVID-19 situation, all medicines are directly sent to medical organizations. The warehouse operated round the clock due to the formation of shifts. The number of scheduled flights was increased by 1.7 times. Shipment terms were reduced from two weeks to one week. The number of warehouse workers was increased to speed up the counting of medicines. An agreement was reached with airlines to speed up delivery of drugs,” Iskaliyev listed.
He said that to date 91 drugs included in the treatment protocol of COVID-19 have been sent to infectious diseases hospitals and provisionary hospitals. In total, medicines worth 12.8 billion tenge (US$30 million) have been delivered since the beginning of the spread of coronavirus in Kazakhstan.