| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

The drug crisis is towards a gradual relief… What about chronic diseases?

Two days ago, the Parliamentary Health Committee discussed the file of medicines and their availability in the local market, and its chairman, MP Assem Araji, pointed out that “some medicines are missing, and the quantity of those used to treat cancer or incurable diseases is few.”

And he reveals that “the committee asked the Minister of Public Health, Firas Al-Abyad, to be tough with the pharmaceutical companies that have no excuse not to distribute,” considering that “the medicines are still missing and we want them to be available as soon as possible, and the Council of Ministers is supposed to intervene. A solution must be found to finance the health sector.”

Araji’s statements raise several questions about the reality of the pharmaceutical sector and whether the crisis will return and intensify, as it was months ago.

In this context, Karim Jbara, the head of the Syndicate of Drug Importers, explains to Al Markaziya that “drugs for incurable diseases, especially cancerous ones, arrive in the country in general. I am not saying that the situation is normal and that all medicines are present, but the bulk of them are available, and if not, then it is secured within a week or two because the shipments are on the way to arrival and the issue is related to the logistical details.”

As for chronic disease medications, Jabara notes, “The Ministry of Health gave pre-approvals for them only about ten days ago, based on the new support system that has been reduced. All approvals have been taken with foreign manufacturers, and there is no unified deadline for them to be available in the local market, some of them arrived this week and others will arrive next week, while another part requires a longer time until the completion of manufacturing and shipment.”

He expected that “the drug market will witness an improvement and we will notice a big difference in it compared to the current situation after this initial stage of placing orders and the arrival of goods that need time, then we will be in a state of continuous access to chronic medicines such as those for incurable diseases, of course, this does not mean that the situation will be excellent and that all types will be available at any time.”

  • Sawt Beirut International