Use of cheap medicines should not be forced: Pharmacy Association

April 2, 2020; 6.2 tonnes of medicine from India which had not been sent due to the lockdown in India, delivered by the Indian Airforce to the government of Maldives | Photo: Fayaz Moosa

Male’, Maldives – Maldives Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Distribution Association (MPHDA) has called out against patients being forced to use cheap medicine.

MPHDA has said that after Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) had reviewed the government selected Maximum Retail Price (MRP), they had found out that the ‘Aasandha’ program was intending to use the cheapest medication on the market and conveyed their concern over this.

MPHDA noted that MRP is not something entirely new, as the law was made in 1980 about the medicinal import to Maldives also included MRP. They warn that the recent changes made to the guidelines and the decision of ‘Aasandha’ to provide the cheapest drugs in the market is a big mistake.

MPHDA stated that with this change patients will lose their current choice in selecting from 4 to 5 categories of different qualities of medicine, while patients will want to get the best quality of medicine for their treatments.

If ‘Aasandha’ portal distributes only the cheapest medicine, people will be forced to use it, which is problematic, especially for the people suffering from long-term diseases.

Maldives Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Distribution Association (MPHDA)

The association said that their attempt at participating in the MRP decision meetings was rejected. MPHDA also said that the opinions of the medical and pharmaceutical industry were not taken into account for the decisions regarding MRP. Furthermore, MPHDA highlighted that the guidelines of MFDA are against importing cheap medicine from countries like India.

The cheap price of the medicine is not the issue. [What matters is that] even the MFDA guideline highly discourages the import of cheap medicines from neighboring countries such as India and other neighboring countries. This was to put a stop to unauthorized supply chains. The decisions of ‘Aasandha’, supports the import of cheap medicine, is very concerning.

Maldives Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Distribution Association (MPHDA)

The Pharmacy Association has called out to give good quality medicine to the people of Maldives without placing financial burdens on the public.