At a time when the Ministry of Health announced major cuts in the prices of medicine, some private hospitals unjustifiably raise medicine prices and the Moroccan minister of health has promised to not go easy on them.
Rabat – Anas Doukkali, Morocco’s health minister, said that there are many clinics and private hospitals that sell medicine at higher prices than the set prices.
Doukkali issued a warning note last week, announcing that the health ministry had conducted an investigation and found that many private hospitals break the law by charging higher than the regulated prices of medical products.
The minister promised to sue and penalize the private health institutions and clinics. Doukkali also promised to reinforce the monitoring of drug prices.
According to Doukkali, the clinics take advantage of the absence of supervisors at medical storage cabinets, stressing that every clinic should appoint a pharmacist who is certified by the ministry to supervise the medical supply and the prices of medical products.
Hospitals then must provide receipts to patients, and the receipts should reflect the same price as the product’s original price.
Raising prices of medical products is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of MAD 800, according to the Moroccan medical law concerning the responsibilities of medical professionals.
In February, the ministry announced major cuts to the regulated prices of 319 medicines, including blood derivatives, antibiotics, and treatments for anemia, hemorrhaging, epilepsy, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The decision was to facilitate citizens’ access to medicines under the provisions of the 2019 Finance Bill on the exemption of Value Added Tax or TVA for medicines that cost more than MAD 588 ($61).
The Moroccan government promised Moroccans to improve access to health services and health coverage.