Friday, 7 May 2010

Morocco - Why is the Moroccan Ministry of Health keen to cut drug prices and encourage drug promotion?

Moroccan drug prices are too high and cost-containment measures are needed following the extension of the compulsory health system.

Following the publication of a Parliamentary report in November 2009, which found that drug prices were too high in Morocco, even in comparison to Tunisia, the government has launched a new regulation to bring pharmaceutical prices down and encourage generics consumption. The new system limits the number of generic medicaments to 14, by International Common Denomination (ICD) and only one generic per manufacturer. One of the main measures is that the new pricing system introduces international benchmarking criteria. Another measure is the regular review of pharmaceutical prices. Contrary to the actual system, pharmaceutical prices will no longer be fixed.

The national health insurance scheme is expected to provide substantial additional funding for the health sector. Initially aimed at salaried workers, the scheme has been expanded to cover the self-employed. The CNSS, which operates the scheme in the private sector, has announced that it will be extending cover to ambulatory care in addition to hospital treatment from February 2010 onwards. A health insurance scheme for those on very low incomes is still in the early stages of implementation and is expected to be rolled out on a national basis in 2010. Full implementation of the national health insurance will require cost-containment measures due to increasing reimbursement levels.

Further reading - A detailed analysis of the Moroccan pharmaceutical market is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: Morocco (published April 2010)

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