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Recent Changes to Dubai's Pharmaceutical Landscape
Posted on Dec 28, 2015 by Travis Jones
A couple of recent announcements regarding pharmaceutical medicines in the UAE could have big impacts on patients in Dubai, both good and bad. Find out more about these news items and what they might mean for you by reading on.
There have been big things going on in Dubai with regards to healthcare. Anyone who has been in the emirate over the past couple years are no doubt aware of the recent reforms implemented by the Dubai Healthcare Authority (DHA) that will eventually require all people in Dubai to possess their own private health insurance plan. Of course, this is not the only recent change to the ever-evolving face of the Dubai healthcare landscape.
Recently, there have been a couple of major news items concerning pharmaceuticals in Dubai. With this in mind UAE Medical Insurance will now delve into these topics and break down their relevance to people in Dubai.
I want a new drug
On December 12th it was announced that the Higher Committee for Registration of Medicines of the Ministry of Health (MOH) had approved 60 new pharmaceuticals for distribution and sale in the UAE.
Included in the new batch of medications were 7 ‘biological medicines’. These relatively new types of medicines are composed of living matter, such as yeast, bacteria or even human cells, and can contain up to 1 million atoms, while traditional chemical pharmaceuticals can have less than 50 atoms. Biological medicines can treat complex diseases and, eventually, may even create scenarios of customized solutions to an individual’s health problems.
This move by the MOH shows that the UAE is on the cutting edge of pharmaceutical technology. Additionally, not only is the government working hard to get new drugs to the market on behalf of the businesses that make them, but they are also enabling new treatments and new hope to many ill people in the UAE.
Low cost cures
Another great news item of late for people in Dubai is the lowering of the prices of a number of existing medications. In fact, 142 individual medications from 24 drug companies in the UAE were reduced by anywhere from 2 percent to a whopping 66 percent. These price changes will take effect on January 1st, 2016.
These pharmaceutical price changes are not uncommon in the UAE, as this is the sixth such change that has occurred, with the most recent occurring in January of 2015, when the cost of 280 medications were cut. Medication price cuts such as these started in 2011 in response to the UAE’s rising medical costs as a whole, and brought drug prices in the country to be among the lowest in GCC and other Arab countries.
With all of this medicine news coming out in quick succession, what can be lost is the meaning of it for everyday people in Dubai. Regarding the lower-cost pharmaceuticals, this is great news not only for individuals, but for the UAE as a whole, as the overall costs of medical care in the country will be lowered. Similarly, people will see the savings passed onto them, and should be relieved that the government is willing to step in and control medical costs when costs become unreasonable.
Regarding the new medicines, this means that people in the emirate may now have access to drugs that can take care of existing condition they have in a new or improved way, perhaps even treating a condition or ailment that was previously untreatable. As well, these new drugs may replace older drugs and minimize their side effects on their users. These new drugs are made to sell and, as medicine is not only about survival, but about quality of life too, people will be willing to do what it takes to improve their condition. New drugs such as these are pricey, however, so this needs to be considered.
With the new requirement in Dubai that all people in-country must now be covered by health insurance, whether through their employer on privately, Dubai natives and expats alike are now likely to have access to any needed medications – at least at first. However, if an expensive new medication is needed for a chronic condition, meaning that it will need to be taken on a regular, long-term basis, then the maximum allotment of health insurance benefits that an individual’s policy will disperse can quickly be reached. This is why it is important that to ensure that you have a private medical insurance plan with benefits that go above and beyond those mandated by the Dubai Health Authority.
To find out more about the level of coverage that you and your family should have, contact the knowledgeable professionals at UAE Medical Insurance. They are standing by to analyze your current plan, provide advice on plans that suit your needs, and provide you with free plan comparisons and price quotes. Talk to them today.