Pharmacies 'are adjusting prices of medicines'
Manama, January 21, 2014
Pharmacies across Bahrain have been frantically trying to adjust the price of around 5,000 medications on their shelves following orders to reduce their profit margins.
The National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) has threatened to prosecute businesses that refuse to comply with a seven-day deadline, which ended on Sunday, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Under the new regulations, chemists can make maximum profit of 35 per cent on products sold for less than BD20 ($52) and 25 per cent profit on those sold for more than BD20.
This compares to a previous profit ceiling of 45 per cent.
They were ordered to reduce their profit margins on around 5,000 products from Sunday, meaning significant savings for shoppers.
But many pharmacies complained they have not been given enough time to re-price everything and have petitioned the government.
NHRA chief executive Dr Baha Eldin Fateha said that following inspections of several pharmacies yesterday there had been an "excellent response".
"They are moving fast and many have already completed the re-pricing," he said.
"No one is opposing the decision to lower the profit margins but they have asked for more time to change the prices and a three-month grace period to get rid of stock."
The NHRA has agreed to give assistance to pharmacies facing problems with changing their prices, and in the long-term, wants to bring medicine prices down by negotiating cheaper prices with drug suppliers. - TradeArabia News Service