SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 1 December 2021, Wednesday |

What are the suggestions to reduce drug prices?

Fuel prices keeps soaring as the price of a gasoline cannister has reached 311,000 LBP and a diesel oil cannister 321,000 LBP, and a cooking gas bottle 276,000 LBP, while the price schedule was supposed to witness a drop in the fuel prices because oil prices has fell globally.

The Head of the Syndicate of Gas Stations Owners Fadi Abou Chakra, explained that the Central Bank decision that obliged oil importers to pay 90 percent of the oil import bill in cash dollars, led to an increase in its price today, as the exchange rate has increased from 19,000 LBP per dollar to 19,500 LBP.

The Parliamentary Health Committee is searching ways to subsidize medicine again, after Prime Minister Najib Mikati assured that there are no more funds available for support. Therefore, the committee proposed several alternatives, one of which is that the Central Bank secure dollars to pharmaceutical companies for import at Sayrafa platform’s exchange rate, which could reduce the price of medicine by 20 percent. It also suggested that the importing companies reduce their profits by 10 percent and the distribution companies offer a discount of 10 percent too.

To shed light on this topic, the head of the Parliamentary Health Committee, MP Assem Araji, joined us.

President of the Republic Michel Aoun, presented with Finance Minister Youssef Khalil and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh the difficulties facing Alvarez & Marcel Corporation in the process of forensic auditing in the Central Bank.

Aoun insisted on starting forensic audits to the Central Bank’s accounts, which requires providing the “data” and the documents required to the company, in order to carry out its tasks and issue the initial report within maximum of 12 weeks according to the terms of the contract.

Both Khalil and Salameh confirmed that they are doing “what is necessary and as quickly as possible for this purpose.”