Kathmandu, May 13
The government is planning to procure medicines from foreign companies itself and sell them through its pharmacies in a bid to reduce the prices of imported medicines.
The government is considering the move as traders are found selling medicines at very high prices, stated a press release issued by Health Minister Thapa’s Press Secretariat.
According to the recommendations made by the committee led by Director General of Department of Drug Administration, Narayan Dhakal, patients would be able to buy medicines at the half the market price.
Minister Thapa said the government would implement the committee’s recommendation encouraging the use of domestic medicines. Minister Thapa said the government would make sure that the prices of medicines produced locally was lower and of good quality. The Dhakal-led committee has stated that some medicines being sold in Nepal are 2,200 per cent expensive. The committee said medicines for cancer and kidney ailments were being sold at much a higher rate.
The government has formed a committee under the Secretary of Public Procurement Management Office to determine prices of medicines. Representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Health are also members of this committee, according to the release.
The committee will recommend ways that would help government make medicines available in the market at a lower rate. Currently, there are 49 pharmaceuticals that produce human medicines. There are 73 ayurvedic industries in Nepal and 294 companies that import medicines to the country.
In the fiscal 2072/73, Nepali medicines occupied only 46 per cent market share, while 52 per cent of medicines were imported from India.
A version of this article appears in print on May 14, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.