Prices of drugs for chronic ailments to fall

Prices of drugs for chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular ailments will decline soon, a senior health Ministry official said.

The cost will fall by up to 15 per cent, said Dr Ameen Al Amiri, Chief Executive Officer for Medical Practice and Licensing at the ministry.

The cost of 177 types of medicines in the UAE was much higher than in other countries in the region, the official ws quoted as saying by 'Gulf News'.

Dr Al Amiri said a study last year across the GCC states and Arab countries showed that drug prices were the highest in the UAE.

"Under the new system that will drop," he said.

The meeting was held on Monday in Dubai between the ministry and representatives of some of the largest international pharmaceutical research companies. "It is do-able," said Nidal Fakhouri, chairman of Phrmag, a consortium of pharmaceutical firms.

He said the pricing will specifically look at therapies for chronic diseases which patients take for a long period of time.

The sticky point in the negotiations could be the reduction of the CIF (cost, insurance, freight) as most of the drugs are imported into the country.

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