Move to standardize medicine prices – GCC ministries apply 1st, 2nd phases

KUWAIT CITY, June 14: Assistant Undersecretary for Medicines and Medical Equipment at Ministry of Health Dr Omar Al-Sayed affirmed that the GCC health ministries have successfully applied the first and second phases of their project for standardizing medicine prices.

They have managed to standardize the costs of 1,200 categories of medicines last year and about 900 categories of medicines this year. Revealing that the third phase of the project will begin soon, he stressed the importance of this phase for the safety of the medicines and for ensuring they are provided to sick individuals at reasonable prices.

In a statement he issued on the sidelines of a Ramadan Ghabqa organized by the Kuwait Pharmacy Association recently, Dr Al-Sayed explained that the standardization of prices will include medicines that reach the land and sea ports of the GCC countries, which will help achieve reasonable percentage of gain that will vary in different countries.

The percentage of gain in Kuwait will be 22.5 to 45 percent for medical agents and 22.5 percent for the pharmacies. He affirmed the keenness of the ministry to ensure the medicines reach citizens and expatriates without difficulty and at reasonable prices. Dr Al-Sayed revealed that the next GCC project for unification of prices will cover foodstuffs following detailed studies from every perspective.

Meanwhile, sources indicated that a meeting was organized in Qatar few months ago in this regard, and the next meeting will be held in July or August. They added that the decisions taken during the meeting will not only help in unifying the prices of medicines in the GCC states but it will also indirectly help in curbing trade of counterfeit medicines.

By Marwa Al-Bahrawi Al-Seyassah Staff

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