The Armenian pharmaceutical industry has to apply the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards from 2013. This will enable the country to increase exports not only to the other CIS member countries, but also to Europe and the United States. Moreover, the Russian Government plans to ban the import of medicines that do not meet the GMP standards. The other CIS member-countries may follow suit.
However, many of the Armenian pharmaceutical companies object to GMP standards, but, for the reputation’s sake, they do not dare publicly state it.
The first reason for their discontent is the need for additional investments, which is not easy in Armenia. Complete switchover to the new standards is estimated at U.S. $30 million. The interest rates on banks loans are a real nightmare for pharmaceutical companies. About 20 pharmaceutical companies are operating in Armenia, most of them small. They fear they will not “survive” after the new standards come into effect.
Another reason for discontent is procrastination. The standards imply stricter quality control. Many of the producers do not have a clear idea of the consequences.
The USAID Competitive Armenian Private Sector (USAID/CAPS) provides consultations to pharmaceutical companies.