KUWAIT CITY, Oct 8: Several doctors, pharmacists and senior officials of pharmaceutical companies unanimously expressed objection to the recent policy implemented by Ministry of Health to reduce the prices of medicines by almost 50 percent starting from this week, reports Al- Anba daily.
Chief Executive Officer of the Eye Medical Healthcare Company Dr Abdullah Al- Bader declared that it is impossible to compare the Kuwaiti market with that of other GCC countries in terms of medicine, considering the differences in the determining factors such as size of consumption and nature of the business. He explained that Kuwait is a tiny state that depends on import of medicines and has around 400 pharmacy stores.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has many more of pharmacy stores. While it is a medicine-producing nation, it also imports medicines to meet the consumer demands. Dr Al-Bader concluded by insisting that the unification of prices of medicines in the GCC countries is unrealistic. Corroborating the sentiment, Dr Wesam from YIACO Medical Company said the ministry’s decision to reduce the prices of medicines will have negative implication on the profits.
Reasoning that since the pharmaceutical companies do not have other means of covering the losses, the effects will be disastrous, Dr Wisam explained that the cost of producing medicines outside the country is high and since Kuwait does not have companies that produce it, it is expensive to import from abroad. On the other hand, Arab countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are medicine-producing nations due to which there is no basis for comparison especially when the market consumption is taken into consideration.
A manager of a major Kuwaiti pharmaceutical and medical equipment company, who preferred anonymity, declared that the profit rate of the sector will fall to around 90 percent if the price reduction is sustained. He based his argument on the market size and number of consumers in Kuwait, stressing that Kuwaitis have access to free medicine of all types in public hospitals due to which medicine sellers will find it difficult to survive if the policy stays.