UAE, December 23, 2017: The Ministry of Health and Prevention has announced the reduction of the prices of selected medicines following in collaboration with the international pharmaceutical company Sanofi Aventis as part of the ministry's periodic reviews conducted in cooperation with international companies to re-price medicines to support patients and improve access to affordable medicines.
H.E. Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing and Vice Chairman of the Higher committee for Drug Pricing and Registration, said that the price adjustments were done in pursuant to Ministerial Decree No. (1400) of 2017 issued by H.E. Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention and in accordance with the Federal Law No. (1) of 1972 on the functions of ministries and the empowerment of ministers and Federal Law No. (4) of 1983 on the profession of pharmacy and pharmaceutical institutions and decree of the ministers cabinet No. (140) of 2013 on determining the prices of medicines and calculating new exchange rates for foreign currency, along with the amendments of the aforementioned laws. The move forms part of the Ministry's commitment to provide high-quality medicines priced according to regional standards as well as improve the healthcare services in the UAE in line with the wise leadership's vision and support for the health sector to consistently ensure the best results.
Reduction of the prices of 7 products
According to H.E. Al Amiri, products subject to price reduction treat various disorders including bacterial infections; joint pain, epileptic seizures, heart attack, prostate cancer, diabetes, and breast cancer have been reduced by up to 24 per cent. The Ministry said it has coordinated with Sanofi Pharma and local agents to ensure that the new costs will be implemented across the country. With the new adjustment, the prices of 8,732 medicines have been brought down since the commencement of the Ministry's series of price reduction initiatives on July 2, 2011.
Partnership with pharmaceutical companies has benefited patients with chronic diseases
H.E. said that the fruitful and positive cooperation among stakeholders from the public and private sectors has benefited all patients, especially those with chronic diseases, heart illness, and cancer, to name a few, who require long-term treatment.
The price reductions, in particular, will specifically benefit individuals with chronic diseases or cancer who require long term treatment. Lowering the prices of high-quality medicines alongside the provision of affordable pharmaceutical services is also the result of strategic partnership between the Ministry of Health and Prevention and international pharmaceutical companies operating in the country. It aims to encourage the private sector to invest in the local health system and forge new ties based on trust, communication, transparency, and community support.
H.E. also said that encouraging international pharmaceutical companies to locally manufacture their products will significantly bring down the prices of medicines. This will not only give patients an access to affordable but innovative medicines but it will also benefit local factories through technology transfer.
7 Cabinet initiatives launched in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies
H.E. Al Amiri praised the international pharmaceutical companies for their active participation in and swift response to the Ministry of Health and Prevention's initiatives aimed at reducing the prices of medicines. Many global pharmaceutical firms have set their regional headquarters in the UAE and each of them currently employs 100 to 500 employees. Their logistic hubs are mainly located in airports and free zones in the UAE to support their operations in the UAE and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Attracting regional and global companies is a source of pride for the UAE as it demonstrates their confidence in the country and its wise leadership.
The first initiative adjusted the prices of 565 innovative medicines on 1 July 2011, while the second initiative reduced the costs of 115 generic drugs on January 1st 2012. The third initiative lowered the prices of 6, 791 medicines on the first of June 2013; fourth targeted 207 products on the first of January 2014; fifth reduced the prices of 280 medicines on February 2nd 2015; the sixth and seventh reduced the prices of 142 products and 762 products on the 1st of January 1 and the 1st of September respectively.
Monitoring drug supply in UAE
H.E. assured that the Ministry will continuously coordinate with companies and distributors and monitor the medicine supply in the country to ensure availability and avoid drug shortage. The Ministry also supervises pharmaceutical companies to guarantee compliance with proper storage standards and distribution process to prevent any damage and ensure optimal patient care. The Ministry will publish on its website and local newspapers a list of medicines with their new prices to prevent any violations and to benefit all patients in the UAE.