Medicine prices to be set
Prices of Medicine will be printed on their packets when sold, according to new regulation
Ministry of Health at the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) decided to unify the prices of medicine in all the private pharmacies in the whole region.
Dr. Rekawt Hamarashid, KRG Health Minister, said this will implemented in about one year, and by then every medicine would have its fixed price printed on it.
Minister Hamarashid said that as per the recommendations of Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his Deputy Imad Ahmed, significant developments have taken place in the health sector in Kurdistan Region during the seventh cabinet of the KRG.
“We have decided to determine the profit margins for pharmacies based on the prices of the medications and unify the prices all over the region,” reiterated Minister Hamarashid. “This is implemented in cooperation with the Kurdistan Pharmacists Union.”
Health Minister also added that the region’s market is a free market and there are no restrictions on importing medicine from anywhere in the world, but any medicine that does not pass quality control would be banned an not allowed to make its way into the region.
Dr. Rozhgar Hameed, Director of Kurdistan’s Quality Control, says after the implementation of this project the only difference between the price of medicine would only depend on the manufacturers’ prices and price differences would not necessarily indicate the level of quality of the medicine, since every medicine would go through quality control and if the quality is not up to a reasonable standard it would not be imported.
Hameed states no medicine will be sold without price tag next year. A special label will also be printed on the medicine to identify that it has passed quality control and is properly licensed for Kurdistan. The label will have a barcode that prevents counterfeited products.
Systemizing medicine sales
Chairman of Kurdistan Pharmacists Union Dr. Amir Chalabi, told the Kurdish Globe that an online system will be introduced to monitor quality and pricing of medicine sold at the pharmacies in the region. “Moreover, using this database, in case a pharmacy runs out of a specific type of medicine, it can inform customers about the nearest pharmacy where they can find the medicine,” said Dr. Chalabi. “Additionally, this system will help remove the price differences in pharmacies and eliminate the phenomenon of physicians making agreements with specific pharmacies and sending patients only to these pharmacies.”
Monitoring and follow up
Health Minister stated that their teams will be mobilized further to close down any unlicensed pharmacies or clinics operating in residential neighborhoods. He reiterated that those who don’t have licenses will be immediately closed down and the one with license would be checked and re-evaluated to identify any possible violations.
Health Ministry has classified medicine prices into nine categories:
Class A: IQD 1,000; Class B: IQD 1,000 to 5,000; Class C: IQD 5,000 to 10,000; Class D: IQD 10,000 to 25,000; Class E: IQD 25,000 to 50,000; Class F: IQD 50,000 to 75,000; Class G: IQD 75,000 to 100,000; Class H: IQD 100,000 upwards; and Class I: rare medicine, the price of which will be determined case by case.
The prices have been set based on the US Dollars and the exchange rate used is USD 1:IQD 1,200.
A medic arranges medications at a pharmacy in Erbil.