Vietnam MoH Urged to Cooperate with US, EU Firms to Improve Drug Production

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has urged the Ministry of Health to collaborate with the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) to complete a scheme on promoting cooperation with U.S., E.U. firms in improving Vietnam’s drug production. Mr. Dam made the order at a meeting with representatives of ministries and sectors on special medicine purchase and use in Hanoi on June 23. At the meeting, Deputy PM Dam asked agencies to clarify two concepts, namely original and generic drugs. Original drugs, or invented drugs, have been traded in Vietnam at 4-18 times higher than the average global prices, officials at the meeting revealed. The Ministry of Health said that through concentrated bidding, the price of drugs, mainly generic ones, has reduced by 30%-40% and that Vietnam has become a country with the lowest drug price in the ASEAN region. He added that invented drugs will be included in the Ministry of Health’s bidding lists for further price reduction. The health insurance has so far spent VND11.5 trillion ($495.69 million), or 26.5% of its total spending on drugs, on invented drugs, mainly cancer and heart-related ones. (VTV)