Deputy PM asks for adjustment of medicine bidding

July 26, 2018 - 09:00

Adjusting drug tender during the past three or four years has achieved good results and reduced drugs prices.

Adjusting drug tenders during the past four years has achieved good results and reduced drug prices. —  Photo

HÀ NỘI — Adjusting drug tenders during the past four years has achieved good results and reduced drug prices.

Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam made the statement in a conference with leaders of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Vietnam Social Security (VSS) and several hospitals on Tuesday in Hà Nội.                                                                                                               

The conference was held after the Deputy PM received reports about medicine shortages at several national hospitals.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy PM Đam said that each year the price of medicines dropped by more than 10 per cent in some provinces. After bidding was carried out, the price reduced even more.

However, after receiving reports from patients, residents and the press, Đam visited several hospitals and discovered that several national hospitals sometimes lack different kinds of medicines, especially medicines used in organ transplant and as anesthetics.

Citizens also said that several pharmacies at hospitals sold domestically produced medicine made based on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified by the MOH, whereas most of them were familiar with medicines made in developed countries. Some of the patients were willing to pay more to have the medicines made in the West, but can’t as pharmacies don’t stock them.

During the conference, experts said that the issue was not seen at all hospitals, but measures were still needed.

Deputy PM Đam called for co-operation between the MoH, VSS and hospitals.

These bodies must overcome shortcomings while applying circulars related to bidding medicines in hospitals. The shortcomings led to a problem of enterprises importing some drugs that they are not permitted to transfer or sell to each other.

If the MOH had started correcting these circulars, it needed to speed up the process, said Đam.

Đam also asked the MOH to list medicines that are rarely used. The VSS and hospitals must have plans to store those medicines, to ensure when they are needed they are available.

To resolve issues related to medicine quality, Đam said health insurance could not pay for all the best medicine, so competent authorities must decide which medicines and services would be paid for by the VSS, and must have regulations about medicine bidding so as patients could buy better medicine if they could afford it.

In the long term, regulations about medicine bidding must create good conditions for medicine management, said Đam. — VNS