In addition, it was agreed to subsidize national pharmaceutical industries in coordination between the Public Health Ministry and the Syndicate of Lebanese Serum and Pharmaceutical Industry.
The meeting, which was devoted to address medicine subsidies was headed by President Michel Aoun and attended by Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, Finance Minister, Ghazi Wazny, Public Health Minister, Dr. Hamad Hassan, and Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh.
The President debuted the meeting by asserting that the approach to the medicines file must take into account all citizen interests and need for necessary health care, while prioritizing securing medicines without overburdening citizens with the increasing prices.
In addition, President Aoun considered that subsidies on medicines and medical supplies are one of the basic constants to reduce the social and living sufferings which Lebanon is witnessing, stating that it is not permissible for pharmacies to empty medicines, especially those which are essential and necessary for citizen health.
“It is not allowed to monopolize, smuggle or store medicines, while preventing its access to citizens to raise prices randomly, which makes it difficult for citizens to purchase them” President Aoun continued.
Moreover, the President emphasized the importance of subsidizing the Lebanese pharmaceutical industry, and pointed out that “Lebanese pharmaceutical factories enjoy high standards of quality, which makes them able to produce medicines which help meet Lebanese market needs and reduce the crisis which Lebanon is recently witnessing. This crisis is considered, in multiple aspects, a fabricated crisis, which is added to the series of crises facing the Lebanese these days, increasing their sufferings”.
Afterwards, Premier Diab said: “The most serious issue which we are witnessing today is providing medicines for people. The Lebanese have endured a lot pf social and living pressures, and dealt with them realistically. However, the prices of medicine and their loss from the market is an unsustainable issue.
Therefore, this issue is very sensitive and dangerous. No one can bear the consequences of losing a drug or increasing its price in such a way that people will be unable to purchase it. This issue is a national issue, and it shouldn’t be dealt with as if it were a commercial commodity. With this problem, people will not be silenced and no one will blame them, since the situation is much more dangerous than all imagined.
Responsibilities are great. It is not permissible to be accounts of profit and financial loss in medicine, since there are those who are losing their lives. It is necessary to tackle this file with the highest degree of responsibility, because all consequences will be catastrophic”.
Then, current pharmaceutical affairs and proposals to address the drug crisis were deliberated.
After the meeting, the following statement was issued:
“President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, chaired a meeting attended by Prime Minister, Dr. Hassan Diab, Finance Minister, Ghazi Wazny, Public Health Minister, Dr. Hamad Hasan, and Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh.
The meeting was devoted to discuss the issue of financing the import of medicines and medical supplies. It was agreed to continue subsidies on medicines and medical supplies within an applied mechanism which notes the specific priorities of the Health Ministry.
These priorities were noted in the rationalization plan submitted by the Prime Minister to the Parliament, taking into account the necessity and importance of subsidizing national pharmaceutical industries in coordination between the Public Health Ministry and the Lebanese Syndicate of Serums and Pharmaceuticals Industry.
An exceptional approval will be issue later on by the President of the Republic and Prime Minister, in order to establish the continuation of subsidies on medicines, medical supplies and medical implants”.
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