Oman plans measures to reduce drug prices
Muscat, June 16, 2014
Oman’s Ministry of Health is set to introduce measures to reduce the prices of drugs for consumers in the Sultanate, which has recorded the highest pharmaceutical drug prices in the GCC region, said a report.
The high prices have led patients to ignore doctors’ prescription for drugs due to unaffordable prices, which could have detrimental effects on the health of people, said the Oman Observer report.
The Sultanate recorded the highest drug prices in the region, according to a report last year, and was followed by Kuwait, it said.
The reduction in the price of drugs was one of the main topics discussed at the GCC Health Minister Council meeting hosted in Bahrain last year.
An agreement was reached by the GCC health minister to make efforts to reduce the prices of drugs, said the report.
A noticeable reduction in prices will be witnessed locally in all GCC countries in the future, making it more affordable for users, it said.
An earlier decision made by GCC leaders to unify drugs prices will be done through standardising cost, insurance and freight (CIF) using the dollar as the uniform currency, which will cut profit margins to ensure it does not exceed 45 per cent of CIF prices, said the report.
The ministry has formed a team which will be tasked with looking into the application of CIF policy and give recommendations to reduce profit margins, it added.