WHO: Vietnam drug prices 5 to 40 times higher than world average
  • | | June 25, 2010 12:59 PM

Medicine prices in Vietnam are up to 40 times higher than many other countries in the world, according to a new World Health Organisation survey.

Medicine prices in Vietnam are high compared to average incomes

The survey was conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and checked 7 popular groups of medicine in Vietnam. The comparison criteria were based on type, name, manufacturers and suppliers of the medicine.

The survey results were released by Pham Luong Son, Head of the Healthcare Examination Unit under Vietnam’s Social Insurance on June 24.

Son said that the medicine price hike had directly impacted the Health Insurance Fund. The potential risk to the Fund has been acknowledged but the situation has not been resolved yet.

“The reason is because Vietnam has not imposed a drug price management regime and there is no regulation on the role of Social Insurance in managing and bidding medicine delivered to those who benefit from the health insurance policy. Currently, the tender is taken care by areas or hospitals. Thus, it’s very hard to control the prices through bidding. In fact, 80-90% of areas approved the ceiling price frame,” added Son.

In order to deal with the risk of abusing the Fund through medicine prices, Social Insurance is coming up with several options and proposing a medicine tender mechanism, under which it can be directly inolved in the bidding with an aim of controlling imported drug prices, protecting the Insurance Fund and bringing benefits to patients.

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