BEIRUT: The Health Ministry called Tuesday for transparency in the manufacturing and import of medicines in Lebanon by adopting international standards used in developed countries.
After a meeting between Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil and officials from the Syndicate of Medicine Importers and Manufacturers, the ministry said in a statement that manufacturers and importers should register medicines according to international guidelines.
Some 5,894 drugs are currently registered, according to ministry officials, but only 4,525 drugs are available in the market.
“The meeting focused on ensuring transparency in following the registration of new drugs, the improvement of registration processes according to international guidelines practiced in developed countries and guaranteeing the permanent availability of drugs for chronic diseases,” the statement added.
It said that participants agreed to attend follow-up meetings to reach an agreement on new standards for the pricing of drugs in the country in accordance with the ministry’s new health care plan.
But the new health care plan introduced by Khalil to the Cabinet earlier this year has yet to be approved by the government. Civil society activists have already attacked the draft law submitted by Khalil, saying it failed to ensure full public health care for all Lebanese.
After last month’s demonstration at the Health Ministry in Beirut, the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth said Tuesday Khalil had refused to consider any of their proposals for the health care plan.
“After going through the draft law of the minister, we saw that everything we criticized and rejected is still featured in the draft and nothing has changed,” ULDY said in a statement.
The statement called for a news conference at UNESCO Thursday to respond to Khalil’s draft law that has yet to be placed on the Cabinet’s agenda.