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Fri 7 Sep 2018 10:19 AM

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Abu Dhabi begins initiative to bring down medicine costs

Department of Health - Abu Dhabi starts preliminary stage of an initiative to encourage greater access to cheaper generic medicines

Abu Dhabi begins initiative to bring down medicine costs
Photodisc Vol 054 Science Technology and Medicine 2

The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH) has started the preliminary stage of an initiative to bring down the cost of medicine.

The generic medicine mechanism aims to ensure members of the community have continuous access to the highest quality of healthcare services, state news agency WAM.

Generic medicine is known to have the same dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, and performance characteristics as more expensive brand-name medicine, it added.

Under the initiative, the DoH will encourage healthcare facilities to start offering more generic medicine options to provide patients to ensure better value for money.

Under the new mechanism, the DoH has set a reference price for drug categories with an equivalent generic substitute. Patients who wish to claim medications with a higher value than those listed on the reference price list will be required to pay the difference in price.

Mohammed Al Hajj, director of the Health System Financing Division at the DoH, said: "We have looked at the successful application of similar generic medicine policies in other countries worldwide.

"We worked alongside our strategic partners in both the public and private healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi to involve them in the development process and the gradual application of the mechanism to ensure the healthcare system is well aligned to further deliver exceptional care services in Abu Dhabi."

He added that many countries worldwide have successfully encouraged the use of generic medicine over brand-names. In Germany, 80 percent of prescribed drugs are generic, while in the UK, 78 percent of prescribed drugs are generic.

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