Concern Over Free Medicine Program

The Free Medicine Program was introduced in July 2017 to provide access to more than 30 medicines that were under price control. The program initially aimed to provide access to free medications to more than 100,000 people and benefit pensioners, who spent most of their income on expensive medicines. A total of GEL 5 million has been allocated to the free medicine program. 

Specialists are now questioning the free medicine program and state that the initiative is good but need to ensure the effectiveness since there is a lack of program users. According to healthcare specialist, Sergo Chikhladze, the program initially planned to provide free medicine to 150,000 – 200,000 beneficiaries and in reality, it currently benefits 18,000 people. 

However, more than 70% of the budget allocated was spent and the Ministry of Labor Health and Social Affairs of Georgia plans to increase the list of medications as well as the categories of beneficiaries of the program. Moreover, from summer 2018, pensioners will have access to pressure regulating drugs at lowest possible prices. 

By Anna Zhvania

04 July 2018 12:23