Human Rights Center (HRC) has been implementing the project "Mitigation of Pandemic Outcomes for Single Elderly People in Shida Kartli" since January 20, 2021. Within the framework of the project, volunteers interviewed more than 100 lonely / living alone elderly people in all four municipalities (Gori, Khashuri, Kareli, Kaspi). According to the statements by vast majority of the elderly, they do not benefit from the State Program for the provision of medicines for the treatment of chronic diseases, even though the program envisages provision of medicines for chronic cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes (type II), thyroid disease, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.
The goal of the initiative of the Government of Georgia is to provide access to health care facilities for people with chronic diseases. Consequently, representatives of vulnerable groups of the population, who regularly have to buy medicines, may buy medicines at a symbolic price of approximately GEL 1. Further, the list of medicines offered by the program has increased and the list has been supplemented with about 65 nominations of medicines and replaced with new drugs.
It is also noteworthy that the medicines included in the new list do not meet the real needs of the elderly and although in general, this initiative of the Government can be positively assessed, unfortunately, the Program is ineffective. All the elderly who have applied to HRC Center state that it is very important to use this program; however, they are deprived of the possibility to purchase the medicines at a reduced price they have been consuming systematically for years.
Given the difficult socio-economic background in the country, access to medicines is very important for the elderly, both physically (considering that it is often a big problem for the elderly to travel) and financially, as the vast majority buys medicines on pensions which is the sole means of minimum living income.
We call on to the Government of Georgia:
- As part of the State Health Program, change the list of medicines with the ones actually required to make the program effective indeed.
- For patients with chronic diseases, in order to have access to medicines, the State should purchase the medicines prescribed by the patients' physicians at a reduced price and the patient will not be forced to buy the medicines offered by the State.
- On supplier pharmaceutical companies: PSP, GPC, Pharmadepo, Aversi - in addition to the pharmacies in the municipal centers, provide mobile pharmacies to support the elderly at regular intervals so that the elderly can purchase medicines provided by the State Health Program without having to travel long distances.
Human Rights Center