Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has launched the second phase of a project on encouraging Vietnamese people to use locally manufactured drugs at a conference today in Hà Nội.
The project, titled “Vietnamese people using locally produced drugs”, is aimed at strengthening health workers and people’s awareness of Việt Nam-made drugs and increasing the use of locally made drugs at hospitals and in the community.
It also aims to boost the pharmaceutical industry in its efforts to meet the demand for drugs for disease prevention and treatment in Việt Nam and for export to neighbouring countries and the world.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Health Minister Trương Quốc Cường said locally manufactured drugs met 50 per cent of the country’s medicine demand for disease prevention and treatment.
However, Cường said the average usage rate of locally manufactured drugs was still low at central-level medical facilities such as Bạch Mai, Việt Đức or the cancer hospitals.
“Just a half of the 36 hospitals at the central level met the project targets. Only the Quy Nhơn Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology Institute met 100 per cent of the project’s targets, while the Thái Nguyên General Hospital only met 17.61 per cent of the targets,” Cường said.
“The health ministry has launched the project’s second phase with a goal to increase the use of locally produced drugs to 30 per cent at central level hospitals, 50 per cent at provincial level hospitals and 75 per cent at district hospitals and medical facilities by 2020,” Cường added.
To achieve the goal, the health ministry has asked provincial health departments to develop policies with priority given to locally made drugs at hospitals and medical facilities. The Việt Nam Pharmaceutical Association and drug firms have been suggested to take measures for improving medicine quality and reducing the price of Việt Nam-made drugs.
Priority is also given to promoting advertisement and communication programmes to strengthen doctors and people’s awareness on the use of locally made drugs.
The health sector’s statistics showed that following three years of implementation of the first phase of the project, there is a remarkable change in the awareness among doctors and people, who now have more faith in locally made drugs. The use of Việt Nam-made drugs has increased at provincial and district hospitals nationwide.
The health ministry said the use of locally made drugs has increased from 33.9 per cent to 35.4 per cent at provincial hospitals, while the rate has increased from 61.5 per cent to 69.4 per cent at hospitals at the district level.
The usage rate of locally made drugs has also increased to 80 per cent of total drug use at the district level and above 60 per cent at the provincial level in some provinces such as Ninh Thuận, Phú Yên, Lai Châu, Lâm Đồng and Long An.
According to the Drug Administration of Việt Nam, the country currently has 163 drug manufacturing factories that meet WHO-GMP standards and several factories have even met EU and Japan standards. Local drug companies have produced 10 of 12 vaccines used under the Expanded Programme on Immunisation. — VNS