By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, November 8, 2012
The Ministry of Health announced last Wednesday that it will lower the prices of 320 medicines used for dangerous and chronic diseases notably cancer, heart diseases as well as those = used to treat the nervous system disorders.
According to the Moroccan daily AL Massae, the ministry decision subscribes to the first round of a campaign intended to make expensive medicines affordable to the bulk of Moroccans especially the most deprived segments of the population.
The Ministry decision will be immediately enforced by medicines suppliers, as well as pharmacies.
After strenuous rounds of consultation with civil society and the lobbies of the pharmaceutical industry, the Ministry of Health agreed to alleviate the burden of many Moroccan patients.
The announcement came after several rounds of back and forth rhetoric between the ministry and the pharmaceutical industry stakeholders.
The minister of Health Hussein Al Wardi announced in a press conference held on Wednesday in Rabat that the reduction reaches 83% for cancer medicines. Thus, the price of cancer medication is expected to decrease from MAD 853 ($100) to MAD 135 ($16).
The reduction of medicines used for the treatment of the digestive system reaches 51, 4%, whereas the prices other drugs was reduced by only 20%.
The ministry asserted that the new measures will preserve the interests of pharmacies by ensuring an acceptable profitability margin.
The ministry of Health will be closely monitoring the distribution of the aforementioned medicines and vaccines, especially in private clinics to guarantee the full compliance with the new measures.
The ministry decision to lower the cost of the most expensive medicines was based on concrete data, namely the citizens’ purchase power and the capacity of health insurance funds.
In November 2009, a parliamentary committee issued a report, which shows that the prices of medicines in Morocco are higher than in many rich countries, such as France and New Zealand.
In addition, a comparison with Tunisia shows that of the 13 cheapest generic retained in the study, 10 are more expensive in Morocco. The difference between both North African countries ranges from 6 to 135%.