President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, chaired a meeting devoted to tackle the drug crisis, after the decision issued to lift 75% of medicine subsidies, and keep support only on essential medicines.
At the beginning, the President emphasized the necessity of addressing the causes which led to the crisis of medicines, “Since the safety of citizens takes priority in all treatments, and it is not allowed to harm health security, which is equally important to safety in other fields such as security, economy, education and others”.
President Aoun pointed out the need to reach procedures in coordination between various stakeholders to secure medicine in Lebanon for citizens and reduce the existing crisis, starting with the Health Ministry to pharmacies, drug importers, representatives of drug manufacturing companies and agents of international companies.
For his side, the Prime Minister addressed the needs to tackle the cost of medicine and evaluate the measures taken so far under the title of maintaining the importance of securing medicine on an ongoing basis, and cooperation between all sectors concerned with medicine. In addition, Prime Minister Diab emphasized the need to focus on the topics of studying drug pricing and parallel import, pointing out to the need to reach practical solutions.
On the other hand, the Health Minister presented the measures taken by his Ministry and the procedures which are supposed to be adopted to ensure the continuation of securing medicines. Minister Hasan also explained some of the difficulties facing the ministry’s work in securing medicine on an ongoing basis, including the BDL’s setting a limit of 50 million US Dollars per month of drug subsidies.
To that, the meeting discussed a series of proposals which would address the crisis, in coordination between the Health Ministry and representatives of concerned authorities participating in the meeting, aiming to secure medication permanently for citizens according to standards which take into account the laws and regulations which especially guarantee the safety, effectiveness and durability of all medicaments.