HCM CITY — The prices of 70 vital drugs made in Viet Nam will be stabilised this year under a HCM City programme.
The programme includes 40 drugs to treat heart disease, diabetes, diarrhoea, allergies, and some other conditions.
Nine pharmaceutical companies would take part in this year's programme, five more than last year, the HCM City People's Committee announced.
Besides, nearly 2,000 pharmacies are also taking part, with authorities hoping to get all 4,000 in the city involved in it.
The drugs included in the programme account for half of the most essential ones, including antibiotics, vitamins, and anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory medicines, according to the city's Department of Health.
They are sold at 10 per cent or more lower than market prices.
To encourage people to use local products, the drugs chosen for the programme are ones that meet the World Health Organisation's Good Manufacturing Practice requirements, according to People's Committee vice chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hong.
The city was committed to ensuring proper supply through an increased number of pharmacies, Hong said, adding that doctors would be ordered to prescribe Vietnamese-made drugs, especially for low-income patients.
This year's programme starts on April 1 and will go through March 3 next year.
It is part of a larger programme to stabilise the prices of four groups of essential products, the others being food and foodstuffs, milk powder, and school items. It also seeks to promote Vietnamese-made goods. — VNS