Medicine prices to be set

Prices of Medicine will be printed on their pack­ets when sold, ac­cord­ing to new reg­u­la­tion

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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