Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ on Wednesday asked the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to work together to organise bidding for medicines covered by health insurance so the mechanism can be put in place by 2018. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ on Wednesday asked the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to work together to organise bidding for medicines covered by health insurance so the mechanism can be put in place by 2018.
The bidding mechanism aims to reduce medicine prices by 10-15 per cent, especially medicines whose patents have expired.
The Việt Nam Social Security (VSS) is the State agency in charge of organising the bidding.
In July, the MoH sent VSS a list of drug categories subject to centralised procurement. Since then, VSS has been helping localities compile lists of drugs they need as well as organising bidding sessions.
The Drug Administration of Việt Nam said the health ministry has already begun negotiations with suppliers to carry out tendering for 100 generic drugs, a move expected to reduce their currently exorbitant costs.
According to VSS’ estimates, the total cost for buying these 100 generic drugs at their original price would reach VNĐ2.024 trillion (US$89 million). However, if the currently average winning bid price for Group 1’s generic drugs – produced by member countries of the European Union or the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use – is applied, more than VNĐ500 billion ($22 million), or 25 per cent, will be saved.
VSS said in 2016, 8,400 medicine products worth VNĐ30 trillion ($1.32 billion) were bought by health facilities. Out of 8,400 products, 600 generic drugs were bought for a total of VNĐ7.3 trillion ($321 million). However, due to a lack of alternative drugs present in the bidding process, generic drugs were bought at high prices.
Earlier this year, a national centralised drug procurement centre was established under the MoH. The national centralised drug procurement bidding aims to enhance the effectiveness of using health insurance funds for medical check-ups and treatment. — VNS