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09 December 2023

5% cap on prices of chronic illness medicines

By Staff

Medicines worth Dh258 million was supplied to various facilities under the Ministry of Health in Dubai last year.

Dr Salem Al Darmaki, Acting Director-General, Ministry of Health, told 'Al Khaleej' that the amount does not include vaccines and anesthetics.

Meanwhile, the ministry is in the process of re-examining pharmaceutical pricing, said Al Darmaki and added that medicines of chronic illness will only see marginal increase of no more than five per cent.

Among drugs imported in 2010 were cholesterol-reducing drugs worth Dh56m; medicines for diabetes worth Dh12m; medicines worth Dh44m to treat blood pressure, he added.

According to the Executive Office of Health Ministers of GCC, the annual budget for purchase of medicines and vaccines in GCC is about Dh150m, said Al Darmaki.

The volume of spending on healthcare in the UAE during 2010 was nearly Dh33.7 billion, the equivalent of $9.2bn, he added.

DRugs worth Dh6.75bn were sold in the UAE, according to a study by Albany International Corp. The volume of pharmaceutical market in the GCC in 2010 stood at Dh20.6bn.

Meanwhile, the UAE pharmaceutical industry currently accounts for about 3.67 per cent of the GDP.

The Ministry  of Health budget for 2011 is Dh2.37bn, said Al Darmaki. The ministry has prepared a short-term and long-term plan to overcome challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector. It has also set up a panel to study the latest developemnets in te field of medicine, he added.

There are about 1,350 phramacies in the UAE, including 14 affiliated to governmental hospitals; 70 warehouses for storing medicines; 10 factories producing 76 kinds of medicines; while 8,400 drugs are distributed by the Ministry of Health.