City expands programme to regulate medicine prices

Update: April, 28/2015 - 07:57
HCM CITY (VNS)  — HCM City plans to add 550 drugs belonging to 21 groups in its medicine price stabilisation programme for 2015-16.

"The Department of Health has worked closely with the Department of Industry and Trade to supervise the programme," Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper quoted Pham Khanh Phong Lan, deputy head of the former, as saying.

Department staff have been sent to supervise implementation.

The department has asked all State-owned hospitals and clinics to prescribe local products listed in the programme.

Thanks to these efforts, sales of drugs in the list were worth VND104 billion (US$5 million) last year, 30 per cent higher than in 2013, as the ratio of domestically produced medicines prescribed rose from 20 to 30 per cent at city hospitals and 30 to 40 per cent in district clinics.

The programme was created to ensure balance between demand and supply, stabilise the market, ensure social welfare and encourage people to use Vietnamese drugs.

The drugs are all produced at GMP (good manufacturing practices) plants.

They are expected to meet 50 per cent of the demand for some common medicines. Their prices are 5 – 10 per cent lower than market rates.

"The prices of the medicines in the programme must be publicly announced and supervised," Lan said.

Fourteen domestic drug companies have signed up for the programme to supply fever and pain relief, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, asthma, stomachache, cough, cardiovascular, and diabetes medicines. — VNS