| 18 May 2024, Saturday |

Hoballah believes it is past time to stop subsidizing foreign drugs that could be produced locally

Caretaker Minister of Industry, Dr. Imad Hoballah, on Monday met with a delegation representing the Syndicate of Pharmaceutical Factories in Lebanon, headed by Dr. Carol Abi Karam.

“The time has come to stop subsidizing imported medicines that are similar to the ones being manufactured in Lebanon,” Hoballah said.

“Studies and figures have shown that supporting the Lebanese medicines and IV serums industry spares the Central Bank and depositors tens of millions of dollars,” he added.

Hoballah went on to explain that local factories suffered from delay in paying arrears. “They might be obliged to close their doors if funds are not secured for them,” he warned.

The Lebanese medicine and IV serum industry produces and secures 682 alternatives to imported medicines — worth nearly USD 400 million, Hoballah added, noting that that these factories have the ability to increase the aforementioned number of medicines and replace imported ones with those produced locally.

He finally reiterated calls for “protecting the local industry” by securing actual support for it.

Meanwhile, Minister Hoballah contacted Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh, with whom he agreed to hold a meeting soon to take an appropriate decision in this regard.

  • NNA