An official document over the price of medicine was issued on February 16 by Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem to Ministries of Health, Planning and Investment, Trade, Finance and Provincial People’s Committees.
Accordingly, Mr. Khiem requested the cooperation between the Ministry of Health and other relevant ministries and the implementation of comprehensive measures in controlling the prices of medicine under the regulation of Pharmacy Law.
A national medical reserve plan should be created and presented to the Government in the first quarter of 2006, he added.
All pharmaceutical import-export companies are required to have strict supervision on their marketing costs and minimize unnecessary cost. Plus, relevant agencies must control medical imports, allowing no exclusive dealings in a move to avoid unreasonable medicine prices.
The Health Ministry should have stricter national control on medicine and develop locally-produced medicine, especially the import substitutes and distribution system.
An official announcement over the increasing prices was released by Cao Minh Quang, Director of Drug Administration of Viet Nam.
Accordingly, there are four pharmaceutical companies planning to have prices increased. All of them are foreign and joint-venture pharmaceutical companies. A total of 28 items, most of which are finished products, is expected to increase by 3% to 5%.
Pharmaceutical products are not only special commodities but also consuming goods, which may have price movements along with market demands.
Locally-produced products and national medical reserves are believed to be the most effective measures to limit the increase of pharmaceutical prices. The medical distribution system should also be reformed in order to reduce number of the go-between dealers.
Besides, the price of imported drugs will be posted on the internet, helping with price control.