|A man buys medicines from a pharmacy in District 3, HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HCM CITY (VNS) — The cost of 551 types of medicine in HCM City will be cut by 10 per cent following an announcement made at a meeting held by the city's Department of Health on Saturday.
All of the drugs listed are basic and essential medicines which are in huge demand or prescribed to treat common sicknesses and symptoms like diarrhoea, coughing and stomach aches.
Many other kinds of drugs like painkillers, antibiotics and those needed for chronic diseases like diabetes, rheumatism and asthma, will be cut from five to 10 per cent.
The domestically manufactured drugs will be distributed across 3,500 pharmacies in the city.
The number of drugs under the programme this year has increased by three per cent compared to last year.
Deputy director of the HCM Health Department, Pham Khanh Phong Lan, said that the plan had stabilised the cost of essential drugs since 2010.
"The plan has helped to make medicine accessible to residents, and stopped prices from spiralling out of control," Lan said.
The number of pharmacies that have signed up to the plan has increased over the years, with nearly 65 per cent of pharmacies registered in the city, she added.
In addition to expanding the network, the department will also ask doctors at local hospitals to make domestic drugs a priority when prescribing medicine for patients in order to make cheaper drugs more accessible to locals. — VNS