SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 September 2021, Sunday |

Health Minister Hassan set the dollar exchange rate for unsubsidized medicine

The Caretaker Minister of Public Health Hamad Hassan held a meeting on Thursday at the ministry, during which a final mechanism has been set for the price of unsubsidized medicine.

Hassan has chaired several meetings over the past two weeks to discuss the pricing mechanism of medicine. The meeting was attended by Karim Gebara, the Head of the Lebanese Pharmaceutical Importers Association and the members of the Syndicate’s Council, as well as Ghassan Al-Amin, the Head of the Order of Pharmacists.

Minister Hassan stressed during the meeting the need to adhere to the mechanism approved, which can be described as fair, so that importers work to secure unsupported medicine that is missing in the Lebanese market, thus contributing to alleviating the medicine crisis.

Based on the above, Hassan issued a decision setting the exchange rate of the dollar for unsubsidized medicines exceptionally at 80 percent of the exchange rate in the Lebanese market, with 20 percent discount for a period not exceeding December 31 of this year, provided that the discount stops after the end of this period.

The decision states that “prices can be adjusted every two weeks according to a circular issued by the Ministry of Public Health, and they are also modified during a shorter period when needed, especially when the exchange rate changes by more than ten percent, up or down.”

According to the agreement, “importers are obligated to sell subsidized pharmaceuticals in quantities not less than their historical monthly sales, in the event that stock is available, and that medicines are distributed fairly on all Lebanese territories.”

Importers are also obligated to rapidly import pharmaceuticals for cancer and incurable diseases in accordance with the agreement in force with the Central Bank. The pharmaceutical inspection at the Ministry of Public Health was assigned to monitor the implementation of the decision.