Lebanon News

Abu Faour announces new drug price reductions

File - Health Minister Wael Abu Faour attends a ceremony in Baabda, Thursday, March 13, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Another batch of medicines will have their prices reduced, by an average of 17 percent, Health Minister Wael Abu Faour announced Thursday.

“A month ago, we announced that the prices of 629 medicines have been reduced by 20 percent,” Abu Faour said, noting that “today the reductions will affect 261 medicines, including dozens that are among the high-cost category and the most expensive in the market.”

Abu Faour made the announcement at a news conference at the Health Ministry in the Beirut neighborhood of Mathaf, accompanied by members of Parliament’s Health Committee and relevant officials.

“What we aim at is providing affordable medicine as we maintain their quality,” he added. “The decision has collected the approvals by all the relevant ministries, which are the Industry, Finance, Economy and the Shura Council.”

Abu Faour warned pharmacies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and depots against breaching the decision or objecting to it: “The decision is fair and balanced, and it will be obligatory once it is published in the Official Gazette, and the issue will be kept open for best results in reducing the medicines prices with securing its quality.”

Abu Faour said the overall rate of price reductions was 17 percent of the sales price.

Among the medicines that Abu Faour mentioned at the news conference was Avonex, which is used to treat multiple sclerosis and was reduced from LL1.9 million to LL1.6 million.

For medicines costing between LL1.5 million and LL3 million, the prices were reduced between LL135,000 and LL482,000.

Medicines priced above LL3 million will be reduced by nearly 20 percent, with the cost dropping between LL591,000 and LL3.3 million. Most of these medicines are used in chemotherapy for cancer patients.

“We have taken the side of the patient in this decision, and the relevant parties in the medicine sector should shoulder their responsibilities,” Abu Faour said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 18, 2014, on page 4.




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