BEIRUT – In a press conference, Health Minister Firass Abiad announced a decision that he said will accelerate the provision of drugs to the Lebanese public via a faster registration process for imported drugs.
Here’s what we know:
• “The decision is a new step that helps provide medicine to the citizens faced with difficulties due to [the lifting of] subsidies,” Abiad explained. He added that this decision speeds up drug registration in Lebanon, especially since the “registration cycle used by the ministry takes a period of two years.”
• “The quality of the drug and price set before their distribution in the market,” will be preserved, Abiad noted.
• The manufacturing laboratory of imported drugs should be recognized by either the United States Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization.
• On the subject of pricing, Abiad said the decision stipulates that the prices of the medicines should be competitive to other available brands.
• “The decision does not aim to replace the registration process used in the Ministry of Public Health, which has proven to be good and very important and we want to preserve and continue it,” he continued. Importers who benefit from the new decision will be given one year to supply the Lebanese market with their imported medicines.
• “The new decision will be followed by additional steps,” he concluded, pointing out that “other projects are being worked on to provide medicine to the Lebanese citizen, including the drug card, providing support to citizens through primary care centers.”