Health Minister denies future medicine price hike
Health Minister Adel al-Adawy - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb

CAIRO: Minister of Health Adel Adawy denied a potential price hike in the drugs produced by the private sector pharmaceutical companies during the forthcoming period,  Al Masry Al Youm reported Tuesday.

” The Ministry considers compensating the loss of the Holding Company for Pharmaceuticals, which sells drugs at prices lower than their cost prices,” said Adawy adding that the government is studying a plan to improve the national healthcare system.

Pharmaceutical companies in Egypt argue that the worldwide rising prices of medicinal drugs, which are imported using US dollars, forced them to either raise prices for some drugs or suspend their production.

“It is important to provide companies that refrained from producing life-rescuing medicines with facilitation and incentives to provide sufficient, safe and affordable medicine for citizens,” Adawy said.

The loss of the public sector companies during the past few years is notable, said Adawy, as the companies were selling drugs with prices less than the cost prices to avoid increasing the burdens of the poor.

According to the State Information Service,  approximately 50 percent of the Egyptian people are covered by basic government health insurance; more than 30 percent are enrolled in a private health insurance system while the rest are with no health insurance system.

Health care services are provided by three main sectors in Egypt, the government, the public sector, and the private sector. Although these sectors complement each other, the government is considered the principal provider of health care services in terms of capacity, expenditures and the different kinds of services offered.

In its 2014-2015 budget, the Ministry of Health allocated about 50 billion EGP ($7  billion) of their financial expenses to health insurance services compared to 32 billion EGP in the 2013-14 budget ,Al Mal Business daily reported.

In its latest statistical bulletin, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced 1.4 million people in 2012 were treated at the state’s expenses in comparison to 1.2 million patients the previous year.

According to the Egyptian constitution passed in January 2014, the state is committed to allocating a proportion of governmental spending for health of not less than three percent of gross national product, rising gradually until it reaches global averages.

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