Ministry of Health & Prevention Reduces Price of 410 Similar Drugs in Line with Government Directives

HE Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, the Minister of Health issued a Ministerial Decree No. (130) of 2019 on the reduction of the price of 410 similar drugs, in line with the government’s directives to reduce the prices of services, and based on the Ministry’s keenness to support and provide medicines at competitive prices and compatible with the lowest Gulf price in support of patients.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) addressed the concerned companies to hold a meeting on 5 August 2019 under the chairmanship of HE Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s (MoHAP’s) Public Health Policy and Licenses, in the presence of 58 local, Gulf and international companies.

The meeting aimed to coordinate joint efforts between MoHAP and companies to support patients and provide pharmaceutical services of high standards and quality at competitive prices.

It also aimed to foster the strategic partnership between MoHAP and the private pharmaceutical companies operating in the country and to lay out the foundations for the prior coordination for the implementation of this initiative.

The initiative also provides wider options for patients to reduce the leakage of counterfeit medicines through online pharmacies and other unreliable sources.

MoHAP has officially addressed the companies concerned, to take the necessary steps towards reducing prices within a specific time frame for implementation on 15 September 2019.

The list of similar medicines covered by this resolution includes a wide range of medications for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, lipid-lowering drugs and angina drugs, which are common chronic diseases in the region, with a reduction rate ranging from 2 to 77%, of which 183 varieties locally manufactured and 227 manufactured regionally and globally.

Balance in Pricing Between Patient Interest and Corporate Economics

Based on the periodic follow-up of the prices in global and regional pharmaceutical markets, MoHAP applies the highest standards and practices in the pricing system, taking into account the patient interest to provide sustainability in the pharmaceutical varieties, especially those concerned with chronic diseases, taking also into account the economics of the companies operating in the country to ensure the continuity of its operations and logistical services. This equation would help achieve a balanced drug market.

Previous Initiatives to Reduce Drug Prices in Cooperation with Pharmaceutical Companies

In this regard, MoHAP commends the positive and rapid response of the pharmaceutical companies with their initiatives to reduce the prices of innovative medicines in the previous stages. This stems from the strategic partnership between MoHAP and the international and regional pharmaceutical companies that have chosen the UAE as the regional headquarters for the Middle East and North Africa.

Similar Drugs are no Less Efficient than Innovative Drugs

MoHAP adopts strict laws and standards upon the registration of the pharmaceutical products before being introduced in the market. The ministry also ensures that pharmaceutical companies follow good manufacturing practices, and therefore ensure that similar medicines contain the same active ingredients with the same concentration and pharmaceutical form, as well as the same medical uses and that they are equivalent in quality to innovative products.

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