The Egyptian pharmaceutical market has been facing serious problems as a result of the hike in the dollar rate versus the Egyptian pound. This has brought about higher expenses in the manufacturing of local medications and greater loses of domestic producers.
Sources in the Egyptian pharmaceutical industry have warned against unplanned prices increase in imported medicines, and called for an urgent meeting of state manufacturers in order to come up with a united decision regarding this problem.
At the same time The Medical Holding Company has been examining the matter from its strategically aspect. According to local press reports, there is a serious dispute between Egyptian and international companies. Both parties have already threatened to press charges against each other. The foreign companies are trying to enforce local manufacturers to register newly introduced drugs now rather than wait until the end of 2003 as promised to them (by TRIPS agreement).
Domestic companies have recently contacted President Husni Mubarak complaining that they were compelled to deal with administrative issues rather than concentrate on the real issues concerning the pharmaceutical market. They warned that unless something is done to stop these developments, they would have to raise the cost of medicine.
According to press reports, Ismail Salam, Egypt’s Minister of Health, has recently asserted that the Egyptian pharmaceutical market was stable. He stressed that prices were reasonable. Salam said that 55 percent of all drugs do not exceed the price of $1.18. He added that average price of drugs in Egypt does not reach more than $1.5, whereas in the Arab world as a whole, drugs are priced at about $4.5.
In his campaign to provide help to the majority of the population and not prevent any citizen from getting the medicine he needs, Salam promised to register any drug that had been proven efficient in its original location. He assured all the people that in times of need, Egypt would provide medical assistance either in Egypt or abroad.
The Minister was proud to announce that Egyptian drug companies cover 93 percent of the local consumption. He added that during the last five years, consumption of drugs in Egypt has reached a total of five billion Egyptian pounds ($ 1.18 billion). He noted that the local number of drug manufacturers has also multiplied over the same time.
Salam was also happy to announce that new production lines had been introduced to the market, in which quality was of top priority. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )