Kyrgyz Pharmacists Speak Against Abolition of Tax Exemptions

Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce has submitted for public discussion a draft law abolishing tax exemptions for importers and manufacturers of some medicines. The ministry believes that by abolishing preferences, the government will increase aid to citizens in need.

“We will start to collect taxes on medicines. Help those who need it. There are lists of patients who need surgery, who have severe diagnoses,” Kubanychbek Isabekov, head of the ministry’s tax policy department, said during the debate.

However, representatives of Kyrgyzstan’s pharmaceutical union believe that abolishing the benefits will lead to higher drug prices. This could increase social tension in the country, as well as lead to a rise in the number of counterfeit medicines.

The bill to abolish drug benefits is crude and unfinished, politician Venera Raimbachayeva commented. She said that the government wants the rich to pay taxes on drugs, but feels the measure won’t work.

“We should not forget that rich people are not treated in Kyrgyzstan, they are treated abroad. And only ordinary people will suffer from this. You are prying into the pockets of the population with this law,” the deputy said.

The bill will soon be considered at a sitting of the Kyrgyz parliament.



Times of Central Asia