Health ministry checks on drug prices nationwide

After media reports of complaints by poor patients about the recent hike in medicine prices, Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu ordered relevant agencies to check the prices within the country.

The Health Examination and Treatment Department, Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAV) and Department of Planning and Finance were asked to check the bidding procedures in hospitals. In addition, the DAV has been asked to review the retail prices of drugs in the market. Health inspectors will scrutinize drug prices in markets as well as medical clinics.

Nguyen Viet Cuong, Chief Inspector of the Hanoi Department of Health, said the department will establish three inspection teams to monitor prices of pharmaceutical companies, importers, wholesalers and retail stores and deal with violators. Since 20 pharmaceutical companies in the North Vietnam announced a hike on 240 medications from 3 percent to 30 percent, poor patients have been badly affected.

By N. Quoc - Translated by Hong Nhu

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