Prices of antibiotics to be slashed soon




PRICES of some of Bahrain’s most popular antibiotics are set to be slashed later this year, as part of a nationwide drive to reduce the cost of medication.

Commonly prescribed medicines such as azithromycin or ‘Zithormax’, which is used to treat a wide variety of infections, and amoxycillin, a penicillin-like medication, both feature on the list of more than 560 drugs that will be reduced in price by up to 65 per cent on December 1.

Nine respiratory disease medicines are also on the list, which will not be revealed in full until the end of November.

National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) chief executive Dr Baha Eldin Al Fateha said prices will be “drastically” reduced in the move – part of a GCC-wide medicine price standardisation policy announced in August last year.

“The price reduction will vary from drug to drug, with the maximum reduction reaching 65pc of the current listed price,” he said.

“There are 568 types of medicines on the list, out of which nine are used to treat respiratory diseases, 243 are brand-name antibiotics and 230 are generic.

“Zithormax, a common antibiotic that fights bacteria, is on the list and its price will be slashed from BD10 to around BD3.500.

“The amoxicillin group of medicines is another type that will see a 50 to 60pc price reduction.”

Dr Al Fateha explained that all pharmacies and drug companies were being informed of the new unified price list, which will be published in full on the NHRA’s website at a week before the prices come into force.

He added 189 drugs used to treat skin conditions and sexually transmitted diseases are set to have their prices reduced on October 7, as reported by the GDN last month.

“Moreover, the NHRA is implementing the government’s decision to reduce the profit margin of medicines from 45pc to 25-35pc,” said Dr Al Fateha.

“The new regulations will make the price of medicines in Bahrain similar to those in the other GCC countries.”

The new national price ceiling for drugs is being rolled out in phases, with the first two – announced in January and effective since May – covering cardiac and vascular medicines, gastrointestinal medicines, as well as those used to treat joint and muscular diseases, among others.

The next phase, which has yet to be officially announced, will cover vitamins and herbal medicines


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