RUSSIAN DRUG PRICES REPORTED DECLINING

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According to Russia's State Statistics Committee, consumer prices for pharmaceuticals in the country increased by just 0.3% in October, while core inflation increased 0.6% in the month.

The reported decline in drug prices reflects government cost-containment efforts, as well as intensifying competition in the retail market, which dominates the country's drug sales. Perhaps more significantly, the government has also extracted substantial leverage over pricing through its new US$1.9bn state reimbursement system, while aggressively attempting to reduce expensive imports.

According to recent reports, officials have attempted to negotiate supply deals directly with suppliers, in order to reduce the influence of insurance-based funds, a move that may substantially benefit the locally-based manufacturing sector. In return, manufacturers have agreed to cut prices in cases where retail prices are found to be lower, as well as submitting pricing plans and supplying information on the counterfeiting and copying of pharmaceuticals.