Drug prices increase in major cities

The cost of medicines increased by 4.8–10 percent in major cities in November, the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Companies Association reported on November 27.

A drugstore in HCM City. Experts say drug prices have recently jumped due to volatility in foreign exchange rates and a year-end rise in prices of some essential goods (Photo: U.Phuong)

The association’s study of 4,500 pharmaceuticals in Hanoi revealed that the prices of 40 had increased by 5-10 percent.
 
A survey of 1,000 medicines in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Dang also showed some minor price increases.
 
Among 3,200 imported medicines, 21 saw an average increase of 4.8 percent.
 
According to experts, drug prices have recently jumped due to volatility in foreign exchange rates and a year-end rise in prices of some essential goods.
 
Most medicines that saw a price increase were imported for specialized treatment.
 
Some pharmaceutical companies took advantage of the price hike of essential goods to raise their prices.
 
To deal with the risk of further cost increases, Truong Quoc Cuong, head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam, has asked health departments to strengthen monitoring and inspection of drugstores and companies to prevent speculative hoarding and monopoly, which aim to cause a shortage of drugs and thus raise costs.
 
Any enterprises or traders caught stockpiling drugs to sell later at high prices or those who increase prices without legitimate reasons, will be strictly punished and have their licenses to import drugs revoked, he said.

By Q.Lap – Translated by Gia Bao

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