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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Qatar mulls price ceilings on medicine after deregulating market

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Sources at the Supreme Council of Health say the body is considering instituting price ceilings on medicines, only months after the government lifted its control over the market.

In a bid to end monopolies and increase competition in the medicine market, Qatar passed a new law in May that prohibited the SCH from fixing the price of drugs.

But since then, the cost of certain drugs have increased – not decreased – by up to 40 percent, prompting consumers to cry foul and ask the government to intervene.

The Peninsula reports:

According to sources at the SCH, a discussion is going on among senior officials at the SCH on how to tackle this phenomenon. One of the proposals being considered is putting a ceiling on the prices to prevent wholesalers and retailers from hiking the prices indiscriminately…

“Expectations were that the prices would come down as the market opens to competition and more importers enter the fray. The ideal situation is to leave the prices to be determined by the market itself. But the authorities would be forced to intervene if some greedy dealers try to exploit the situation,” said the official.

Read the full story here.

And tell us – have you been hit by rising drug costs?

And should Qatar give the market a chance to sort itself out, or should it intervene?

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