Leader of Pharmacy PSP Faces Industry Challenges Having High Standards

Vazha Okriashvili

2022 has started with the process of obtaining good distribution practices (GDP Certificate)  for PSP Pharmacy. GDP Guarantees the standards that any distribution company must meet to ensure the quality and integrity of pharmaceutical products is maintained throughout the supply chain. 

Modern software solutions & warehouse equipment are represented in a 15,000 square meter warehouse in Tbilisi.

“Obtaining GDP certification means that a PSP distribution warehouse is in full compliance with international standards. The transition to an international distribution standard is an initiative of the government of Georgia and it is a challenge for 2022, one of the most important internationally recognized mechanisms for the protection of medicine quality in the country,” CEO of PSP Pharmacy Vazha Okriashvili said.

PSP was founded in 1994 and its first activity on the Georgian pharmaceutical market was in distribution. The distribution company PSP Center of Introduction became the first official distributor of European medicines in Georgia.

Step by step the company expanded its product offerings into medicines, cosmetic products, baby food and general wellness.

The name of the company – PSP – is an abbreviation of the Latin expression Paulatim Summa Petuntur, which in English means ‘step-by-step to the peak’ and is the company’s motto. 

This year, PSP won its seventeenth Golden Brand at the 17th Golden Brand awards ceremony for the success the company had in 2021. This means that PSP has never lost the award to any other company operating in the same field.

Q. How has the PSP pharmacy network been developing on the local market?

A. In 2021, we opened 35 new PSP pharmacies, while 18 pharmacies were rebranded, and today 300 pharmacies serve customers throughout Georgia.

PSP began as a fully customer-oriented pharmacy in 1994. The first challenge was to create physical access to medicines for the population of post-war Georgia. From the very beginning, we selected international standard medicine companies as partners, which is why PSP has been guaranteeing quality for the population for 28 years. 

The next challenge was to ensure widespread access, which is why today we continue to expand the pharmacy network so that each citizen can easily and comfortably access more than 30,000 names of guaranteed quality medicines, hygiene, self and patient care, baby food and care, decorative and medical cosmetics.

Every month, two million customers choose PSP as their ‘family pharmacy’.

Q. PSP customers can use the ‘My Family Card’, which is a rewards card. By how much  is the number of card holders increasing every year?

A. ‘My Family Card’ is in almost every family living in Georgia. Of these, up to two million are active users; The number of active customers increases year by year. The card has an additional 9% discount in addition to the cumulative benefit.

Q. What is the current market share of PSP?

A. PSP is steadily holding 30% of the Georgian pharmaceutical market.

Q. What new products were added to the pharmacy network last year and what new products are planned to be added in the future?

A. Every year we are expanding the range of PSP products by following advances in modern medicine and medical cosmetics, offering the population of Georgia the products of world-famous brands.

This year we introduced the French SVR and Polish Pharmaceris, two of the largest brands of dermatological cosmetics, and the world-famous Italian hair care brand Echosline’s products and various dyes. 

In 2021, an amendment to resolution N188 by the government of Georgia allowed the import of Turkish-made medicines, which allowed us to offer Turkish-made medicines of European brands to the customers at a 77% cheaper price. The list of Turkish-made medicines includes more than 50 names of the most widely available drugs. 

Q. PSP was one of the first Georgian companies to be involved in supporting Ukraine from the very first days of the war and mobilized a number of humanitarian cargoes. Please tell us how exactly the company has helped Ukraine?

A. As soon as the war started, on February 27, we were able to mobilize first aid and sent 200,000 GEL worth of medical supplies and medicines to Ukraine. Thereafter, the flag of Ukraine has taken an honorable place next to the Georgian flag in all our pharmacies. 

Over the next week, we learned from the Ukrainian Embassy that baby food and care items had become especially important, and accordingly we sent 20,000 GEL worth of baby food, milk, porridge, and diapers to Ukraine. Based on close cooperation with the embassy of Ukraine, we were consistently informed of current needs, allowing us to organize the appropriate assistance. 

Our strategic partner Mizon has allocated $50,000 to help Ukraine, which the company has almost doubled, and on March 12, $95,000 worth of medicines and baby food were given to the Ukrainian embassy. 

At the same time, there was a very high interest from employees and consumers in being involved in humanitarian activities, and so we placed boxes for collecting humanitarian items in pharmacies with the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The staff have also actively transferred money to a specially-opened account with the embassy.

Q. Will the Russia-Ukraine war affect the supply of products at PSP pharmacies?

A. PSP suppliers are mainly companies operating in Europe and America, so it does not pose a global problem in terms of stock, although medicines made in Ukraine are also represented on the Georgian market and of course the war had a negative impact on the supply of these products. 

Ukraine is a leading country in many respects, and its victory and return to the standard operating platform is very important for many markets.

Q. Congratulations on winning the Golden Brand this year once again. Could you please name the specific activities of 2021 that helped the company win?

A. The coronavirus pandemic created new challenges and demands. In spite of the pandemic, the PSP has not spent a single day without seeing to customer care. 

Despite unfavorable circumstances, we continue to provide customers with interesting offers, new products and world-famous brands, strengthening the PSP online pharmacy and increasing access to world-famous brands, pharmaceuticals and baby products at the most affordable prices in our 300 locations across the country. 

PSP remains a guarantor of product and service quality for its customers.

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