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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Cabinet gives preliminary nod to Pharma Regulator Act, approved amended Customs Act

The Ismail Cabinet granted preliminary approval yesterday to the Pharma Regulator Act, according to an official statement. The legislation would establish three separate bodies to regulate the pharma sector: The Supreme Council for Medicine and Medical Technology to set and implement overarching policies for the sector; the Egyptian Medical Technology Authority to oversee the procurement of pharmaceutical products and medical equipment; and the Egyptian Medical Authority to oversee the manufacturing, sale, and import of human and veterinary medicine. Plans for the Pharma Regulator Act have been in the works since early 2016, when widespread reports of meds shortages led the House Healthcare Committee to announce it was drafting a bill to establish a new market regulator.

Cabinet also signed off during its weekly meeting on the new Customs Act. Amendments to the legislation would widen the scope of goods eligible for temporary exemption of customs taxes and other fees, and bar the release of goods without approval from the Customs Authority. The amendments would also unify additional customs fees and taxes, and reduce the maximum amount of time for fee and tax exemptions to two years, down from four. Additionally, the legislation would reduce the maximum amount of time allotted for the withdrawal of unclaimed inventory to three months, down from two years.

The ministers also agreed to set up a Supreme Authority for Upper Egypt Development. The new body, which will be based in Aswan, will be mandated with drafting a holistic strategy for the economic, social, and urban development of regional areas.

Also approved yesterday:

  • BP and Apache concession agreements in the Northeast Ramadan Concession in the Gulf of Suez and the East Bahariya Concession in the Western Desert, respectively;
  • The establishment of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, which will replace the National Council for Disability Affairs.

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