Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — About 70 per cent of HCM City’s drug pharmacies, or 4,016 stores, will sell commonly used medicines, such as antibiotics and pain relievers, at lower prices during the 2017-2018 period under the Government’s drug price stabilization programme.
The scheme has been designed to help control inflation and ensure macro-economic stability and social welfare.
According to HCM City Department of Health (HDoH)’s pharmaceutical affairs division, the number of drug stores participating in the programme in the 2017-2018 period is the same as the 2016-2017 period, up from 400 in the programme’s start in the 2011-2012 period.
The number of medicines in the programme in the 2017-2018 period is 531, 32 fewer compared to the 2016-2017 period.
Medicine in the programme is produced by factories who meet the standard of the World Health Organisation’s good manufacturing practice to ensure quality in the country.
The number of pharmaceutical companies in the programme in the 2017-2018 period have increased to 15 from 4 in the 2011-2012 period.
The programme’s turnover in the 2016-2017 period was VNĐ78 billion (US$3.4 million), VNĐ21 billion less than in the 2015-2016 period, but higher than the VNĐ6 billion revenue that the programme generated in its first year of operation.
The programme has helped the city meet the people’s demand for necessary medicines amid increasing market prices, according to the Health Department.
In the programme, medicines are sold at prices at least 5 per cent to 10 per cent lower compared to market prices, Trần Văn Mười, deputy head of the Department of Health’s pharmaceutical affairs division, said.
The deputy head of Health Department, Tăng Chí Thượng, suggested that drug manufacturers in the country should enhance production of specific medicines since there still is a shortage of these medicines.
“The drug price stabilization programme has encouraged doctors and pharmacists to prescribe medicines at proper prices for patients as the Ministry of Health’s request,” Thượng said.
As a manager of the programme, the Department of Health will strengthen inspection and management of health facilities, pharmaceutical companies and drug stores which participate in the programme, he said at a meeting last Saturday. —VNS