Health Ministry issues new price increases on meds
The prices of 3,010 individual medicines (pdf) will rise 30-50% under new pricing formula approved by the Health Ministry. Retail prices of 15% of all domestically manufactured products and 20% of all imported products will rise under the formula, for which industry has been lobbying for months, Al Mal reports. Domestic products in the EGP 1-50 price category will rise 50% at the counter, those in the EGP 50-100 bracket will cost 40% more, and the meds above EGP 100 per SKU will increase 30%. Meanwhile, imported products in the EGP 1-50 category will see a 50% price increase, while those costing EGP 50 or more will rise 40%. The list includes 619 products approved to treat chronic illnesses, said Health Minister Ahmed Rady. The ministry is requiring manufacturers to abide by directive 499 — which imposes profit margin minimums for pharmacies through discounts by manufacturers — and warns against stockpiling and price gouging, Al Borsa reports. Rady has vowed to reduce med prices once FX rates stabilize, according to the newspaper.
The Pharmacists Syndicate, not happy that they were excluded from the bargaining table, decided at an emergency meeting on Saturday to file a lawsuit against the Health Minister over the move. The syndicate, however, voted to postpone strike it had planned for 15 January by another two weeks, according to AMAY.