Minister of Health Dr. Hassan Al-Ghobash said that 65 percent of chronic disease medicines are available in Syria. He added that, for the currently blocked 35% of medicines, they would be available soon.
As for the prices of medicines and the reactions of citizens, Ghobash explained to Athr Press that — in relation to oncology drugs — 99 percent of them are imported medicines. For that reason, the ministry has nothing to do with raising their prices.
Ghobash added: “As for the measure to raise the prices of local medicines, it is commensurate with the increase in the value of the US dollar by the Central Bank of Syria up to 4,520 Syrian pounds. This alone constitutes 50 percent of the price increase, in addition to rising costs of energy, production, global shipping, and supply chains. These matters cannot be ignored through the demand that the prices of medicine be fixed.”
Ghobash stressed that it is in the interest of the Ministry of Health to secure medicines in the first place and try to control their prices at a minimum to ensure their continued production.
Regarding the pricing mechanism, Ghobash revealed that there are discussions with the Scientific Committee for Pharmaceutical Industries — a large group of laboratory owners and the Pharmacists Syndicate — indicating that they are the ones who demanded this measure. “They asked for greater price increases,” he added. “And the Ministry of Health only raised the prices of four drug tranches (pills, capsules, sterile solutions and sterile medicines produced locally).”
Ghobash concluded by saying: “We seek to ensure that this increase ensures the availability of medicine, and the Ministry of Health will be responsible for controlling availability and adhering to pricing structures.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.