The Ministry of Public Health (MPH) reduced the prices of 261 additional medicines by 17 percent on average. The Ministry had reduced a few weeks earlier the prices of 629 medicines with an average of 20 percent.
These medicines include innovators and generics from both local and international brands, according to MP Naji Gharious, member of the Parliamentary Health Commission and physician at the sacred heart in Hazmieh. An earlier decision taken in 2013 said that generic medicines prices should be at least 30 percent less than the equivalent innovators.
The prices will be reduced on expensive drugs, mainly cancer medicines. Around 130 drugs, with prices ranging between $450 and $1,000, will be decreased by nine percent. About 68 medicines with prices $1,000-$2,000 will be decreased by 16 percent, and 63 exceeding $2,000 will be reduced by 20 percent. For instance ‘Nexavar’ was reduced from $3,570 to $2,900 and ‘Jevtana Injection’ from $10,850 to $8,635.
The prices were reduced for 76 medicines for digestive system and diabetes (21.5 percent), 83 for heart and vascular (20 percent), 29 for skin disease (26 percent), 64 for cancer (18 percent).
The MPH said that the burden will be distributed on all pharmaceuticals stakeholders, so the manufacturers will hold part of the burden. The pharmacists will get a flat commission on specific costly medicines, around $86 on each pack. The Syndicate of Pharmaceutical Importers will also bear part of this reduction. MP Gharious said: “The Ministry set the strategy that should be applied by all partners to reduce the prices.”
The type and name of medicines that are affected by the reduction in prices will be published, along with their previous prices. All these details will be posted on the website of the MPH. There will be a hotline for complaints.