Govt to increase drug prices after 2012 production losses

A government official has denied rumors that the Health Ministry is expected to increase the price of 572 drugs, saying that only 30 drugs will be subject to the increases. 

The ministry made the decision to raise the retail value of the 30 medications because production costs are currently higher than their selling prices, said Mohsen Abdel Alim, head of the Central Administration of Pharmaceutical Affairs.

State-run pharmaceutical companies sustained losses of LE119 million in 2012 due to the cost of producing those drugs, he told Al-Masry Al-Youm Tuesday, citing a report by the Central Auditing Authority.

Those companies continued to manufacture the underpriced medications at their own costs because the drugs are critical for the community, Abdel Alim said.

The price increases will be small — up to LE1.50 per package — and the medications affected will remain cheaper than other alternatives on the market, Abdel Alim said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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