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Sat 11 Jul 2009 10:00 AM

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Prescription bills in UAE significantly more expensive

World Health Organisation reveals World Health Statistics 2009 report - paper.

Prescription drugs in the UAE significantly cost more than in other parts of the world, including other Middle East countries, a recent study reveals.According to The National daily, the World Health Organisation’s World Health Statistics 2009 survey reports that some lifesaving drugs are not even available in government-run pharmacies, where prices are lower, and must be bought in retail outlets.

The research also states that the prices of selected generic medicines sold in pharmacies are 13.8 times the international reference price, which is the average procurement price at which the generic versions of drugs are offered to developing countries on a not-for-profit basis.

The Abu Dhabi-based daily reported that branded drugs in private UAE pharmacies, which include non-government hospitals, cost on average 23.52 times the reference price.

Among other Middle East countries, only Kuwait has higher private generic-drug prices than the UAE, averaging 15.7 times the international reference, the survey observed.

But the countries that sell medicines at a lower price in the Middle East are Lebanon (6.1 times the reference mark) and Yemen (at 3.5 times).

Click here to download the World Health Statistics 2009 survey report

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