City to subsidise prices of commonly used medicines

The People’s Committee in Ho Chi Minh City will launch a price subsidised programme for 13 domestically produced medicine categories comprising of 70 items, from April 1, 2012 until March 31, 2013.

Pharmacies in HCMC will offer medicines at subsidised rates from April 1 (Photo: Phapluat)

The price subsidised items include antipyretics, pain relievers, antibiotics, vermifuge; medicines for treatment of diarrhea, stomachache, cough, cardiovascular problems, rheumatism, diabetes; anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory drugs; and eye drops and vitamins.

According to the HCMC Department of Health, these medicines are commonly used and therefore have a higher demand. The department has listed products for the programme this year based on their level of demand, mostly being medicines commonly used for treatment at health clinics.

The price subsidised programme is expected to cover 50 per cent of all necessary medicines that are most in demand.

A total of nine enterprises will participate in the programme this year, an increase of five more than last year, with an addition of three extra groups of medicines.

Businesses and pharmacies participating in the programme must publicly post medicine prices, which will be five to ten per cent lower than that in the market.

If they wish to increase medicine prices by more than 15 per cent, they must seek approval from relevant departments. In case market prices drop by five per cent, businesses must decrease their prices proportionately.

Medicines listed on the programme must be domestically produced and meet quality standards and doctors will also be encouraged to prescribe domestically made medicines to make them affordable for low income patients.

Nguyen Thi Hong, Deputy Chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee said that besides medicines, the city will also launch price subsidised programmes for food products, powdered milk and school items for the new academic year 2012-2013.

By Th.Hai – Translated by Hai Mien

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