3,000 medicines to be re-priced. Average reduction is estimated to be 40 percent

3,000 medicines
to be re-priced
Average reduction is

estimated to be 40 percent

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The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) will step up its efforts to re-price medication to reduce healthcare costs across the board.

Every five years the ministry compares the cost of thousands of medicines against those costs in seven reference countries, and adopts the lowest price. The MoPH will speed up that cycle in January, and re-price medication every three years and pass those savings to consumers. Medication, generally, drops in price the longer it is on the market, especially after pharmaceutical companies recoup their costs, and generics become available.

The ministry will re-evaluate the prices of 1,600 drugs starting in January. It expects to re-price some 3,400 of the 5,000 registered medications in 2019, said the MoPH.

Customers can expect to save an average of 40 percent on medication, with some reductions reaching 70 percent.

An additional 300 generic imported medicines will be re-priced because their prices should be ten percent lower than that of the originator. The price of local generics will not be reduced, in order “to support the local pharmaceutical industry,” said the MoPH.

The ministry last year allowed pharmacists to replace imported generics with locally-manufactured versions. It also removed Customs levies on raw materials needed to manufacture pharmaceuticals.

The average annual pharmaceutical expenditure per capita is $244, and is expected to drop to $144, with an equivalent amount by the government represented by insurance funds such as National Social Security Fund, and Internal Security Fund, and others. This adds the national pharma cost to $288, post decrease. In Europe it is $550, and in the United State $1,600.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Dec 21, 2018