Strategic partnership between Ministry of Health & international pharmaceutical firms results in control of drug prices

Thursday 17 December 2015

Dubai - MENA Herald: H.E. Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the UAE Ministry of Health’s Public Policy and Licensing Sector and Vice President of the Drug Pricing and Registration Higher Committee, said the strategic partnership between the Ministry and international pharmaceutical companies in the UAE is an innovative lever in controlling the prices of medicines and managing the pharmaceutical sector. The formulation a national pharmaceutical information system includes pharmaceutical media and the economics of medicine according to the results of a pharmaceutical industry survey carried out by the Ministry’s Research Teams.

The Assistant Undersecretary expressed these views during the meeting which took place in his office with Dr. Jeff Kambrisos, CEO – Middle East and North Africa, MSD Pharmaceutical, Gehan Batayneh, Director of Policy and Government Relations, Company, and Mazen Tarouty, General Manager, MSD Gulf. The company has branches in 140 countries around the world.

H.E. Dr. Al Amiri said that the UAE has succeeded in attracting international pharmaceutical companies especially the vital technologies, having established contractual partnerships with market leaders such as Julphar, Neopharma, Medpharma, and Global Pharma. This has not only enabled the production of innovative medicines in the country but has also ensured the quality of drugs across the supply chain. Taking advantage of the UAE’s infrastructure, regulations and legislation and the strong support of the country’s wise leadership, these companies have invested in the local pharmaceutical sector in line with the Ministry of Health’s vision to enhance community partnership.

Global pharmaceutical companies have positively responded to the Ministry of Health’s initiatives to reduce the prices of medicines in accordance with their strategic partnerships. They are willing to provide drugs at lower costs without compromising on quality and effectiveness.

The Ministry plans to approve the production of medicines using biotechnology for the cure of complex hormonal problems as well as encourage research on the results of stem cell therapy. It also proposes to localize drug manufacturing technology and establish science and pharmaceutical research funds as incubators for innovation. Furthermore, the Ministry will launch specialized courses in medical colleges and provide training opportunities to pharmacy students to expand the scope in graduate studies with specialization in clinical pharmacology.

For their part, Dr. Kambrisos and Batayneh commended their strategic partnership with the Ministry of Health. They noted that the approach pursued by the Ministry finely balances the common goals for advancing the UAE’s healthcare industry and enhancing its competitiveness in the innovative sciences and biopharmaceutical sectors.

Dr. Batayneh added: “The Ministry of Health’s commitment to work with the private sector guided by a strategy that will be beneficial for the UAE is the hallmark of the leadership. It is an excellent example of the role of cooperation in further improving the healthcare sector and promoting innovation in bioscience and pharmaceutical sectors.”

“Beyond the open dialogue and welcoming policy of the Ministry of Health to our sector, we could cite many examples of where we are working well together. I would like to highlight three in particular; first, is patient access to new medicines. The UAE now ranks among the top 5 countries in the world in terms of licensing promising new treatments and cures. This policy directly benefits patients, drives down overall healthcare costs, and provides major support for the UAE’s medical tourism industry and the competitiveness of the local medicines sector. Second is intellectual property protection and regulatory harmonization, where the country has consistently improved its procedures. Last is medicines pricing. While we have had to make some difficult adjustments to some products, the UAE has struck a reasonable balance between ensuring affordability and maintaining an environment for innovation and investment,”

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