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The News in Brief

Thursday, August 8
Expanded free medication programme kicks off in Georgia

Starting from August 6, pensioners, persons with disabilities and other groups in Georgia will be able to buy 35 medications for 1 GEL at 118 pharmacies across the country to treat six kinds of chronic diseases.

The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze presented the programme the same day.

Chronic diseases include cardiovascular, thyroid gland, lung, diabetes, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s diseases.

Bakhtadze said that thanks to the programme over 60,000 Georgian citizens would be able to buy needed medicines with the symbolic price.

Earlier only socially vulnerable persons were involved in the programme.

“I promise that the programme will continue and the list will be expanded further. The cost of medicines will be minimal for our pensioners and other citizens,” said Bakhtadze.

Bakhtadze stated that he sees the programme as a tool to fight against poverty “because a large share of incomes of Georgian citizens is spent on medicines.”

Medications for epilepsy and Parkinson's disease were added to the list in December 2018.

The opposition urges the government to help the state economy, which will allow people to pay for their medicines.

The opposition members state that the government fails to do so and instead cover the expenses of medicines with the use of the state budget, which is the people’s money.

They also say that medicines provided on the Georgian market are low in quality and cost much higher than in neighboring countries.
(By Gvantsa Gabekhadze)