ArmInfo. About 40-45% of the market of medicines in the Armenian regions is currently occupied by counterfeit. This is largely due to the presence of a 20% VAT on medicines in Armenia, unlike neighboring Georgia. Answering the question of ArmInfo, the head of the Union of Drug Manufacturers and Importers of Armenia Samvel Zakaryan stated on September 19 at a press conference.
Samvel Zakaryan expresses serious concern over the refusal of the Armenian government to abolish VAT on medicines. "There was no VAT on medicines in Armenia until 2005. The tax was introduced so that the resulting amounts were sent to a special Fund, from where funds were planned to be redirected to address health issues." As we see VAT was introduced, but the Foundation was forgotten ", he noted. As a result, as noted by the expert, at present prices for medicines in Armenia are 2-3 times more expensive than in Russia, not to mention neighboring Georgia. In this connection, during the last 5-7 years, according to Zakaryan, they permanently applied for VAT abolition. The economic effect for the state of this tax, as noted by the head of the Union, is not particularly significant - in the year of the cut the budget loses $ 20 million, while the social effect from its removal is huge. "The social state does not have the right to keep a 20% VAT on medicines, since it is wrong to replenish the budget at the expense of the patients' needs, to put it mildly," he said.
Head of the Union of Drug Manufacturers and Importers of Armenia considers as amateurish the government's justification that if the cost of medicines is removed from the VAT, this will not mean that pharmacies will immediately and adequately lower the price. "The issue can not be politicized and regardless of who initiated the process, it is very relevant for the citizens of Armenia." Taking into account this, we intend to appeal once again to the Government with a request to review the previous week's decision, "Zakaryan said.
Recall that the Armenian government at the meeting on September 14 did not approve the initiative of the "Elk" block to abolish VAT on medicines. As First Deputy Minister of Finance Atom Janjugazyan stated, the privilege offered by deputies is not targeted, as it can be used by both socially unsecured citizens and the rest of the population. According to him, the amendments proposed by the deputies in the law will not help solve social problems.
Meanwhile, in accordance with the government's conclusion, this step will not only ensure the implementation of the tasks set, but will also create opportunities for economic entities in this sphere to receive super-profits.