The performance of pharmacy businesses during pandemic in Kazakhstan

The performance of pharmacy businesses during pandemic in Kazakhstan

(Assyl Meyrambek)

The situation with coronavirus infection has become a challenge for all countries, including the healthcare system of Kazakhstan. Indeed no one had ever thought that such severe global and local restrictions could be imposed. It was the first time when the world had faced quarantine and social exclusion on such a scale. 

At the early stage, Kazakhstan has taken  measures to slow the distribution of infection. Nevertheless, coronavirus continued to spread along the territory of Kazakhstan. The peak of the spread of COVID-19 falls in the period after cancellation of total lockdown in large cities, more precisely, in June-July 2020. With the increase of coronavirus infection among the population, all citizens of the country were faced with shortage of ordinary medicines, thermometers and face masks: that led to the price hikes for them. In order to prevent those kinds of shortage situations, the government should have done right estimates in advance about the possible numbers of infected and required amounts of needed medical stuff. However, the Deputy Prime Minister of health care stated that shortage of medicines caused by unfair competition and high demand from a population. For example, only in May 50 thousand paracetamols were sold in Almaty city, whereas in June pharmacies sold 100 thousand paracetamols in one week. 

The pharmaceutical industry as a whole, in view of the high demand for its products, especially throughout the time of pandemic was at the forefront of other industries. Even so that industry had its own specific difficulties. As we all know most of the countries during the pandemic closed their borders, thus many suppliers of pharmaceutical substances have stopped or restricted their work. Moreover, the most demanded raw materials have increased in price as well as world’s main suppliers have imposed embargoes on export, such as paracetamol, antibiotics, etc. 

Nevertheless, during the first three months of 2020, the sales revenue of the pharmaceutical industry increased dramatically by 24%. Furthermore, by the nine months of 2020 production volume of pharmacies increased by 39.8%. According to the minister, 48% of COVID-19 related medicines are produced domestically. By establishing trendonomous results, the pandemic has demonstrated that Kazakhstan can improve and upgrade it’s young pharmacy industry. As in case of pandemic, supplier countries can close their borders or stop production, or the demand can be so high that it cannot be quickly satisfied with needed medicines. Thus, let’s put efforts to bring the pharmaceutical industry of Kazakhstan to the new level in order to be independent from other countries and in the case of new lockdowns be able to satisfy all needs of the population in regards to medicines. 

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