Govt. to implement price ceiling for pharmaceutical drugs starting January 2022

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

Malé, Maldives – Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, today, declared that the government will implement a price ceiling for medicinal drugs effective 1 January 2022.

The price ceiling will first be executed for 357 drugs included in the Maldives Food and Drugs Authority (MFDA) Essential list. This move is expected to decrease the government expenditure for medicine by MVR 205 million.

Starting January 2022, medical institutions in the Maldives will stop prescribing drugs using the brand name and instead use the chemical name of the medications. The government has mandated this into regulation to combat high prices for specific brands of drugs.

Every Maldivian with a valid National Identification Card have access to unlimited health care for all medical services prescribed and recommended by medical doctors, without paying any fee. The scheme is fully financed by the Government, and implemented and managed through Aasandha Company Limited.

Earlier this year, Aasandha Company had launched ‘Vinavi’ mobile application through which users can check the exact price of the medicine, in order to manage the prices of medicines being sold in the Maldives.

Commonly known as ‘Aasandha’, Husnuvaa Aasandha is a universal health scheme introduced by the Government of Maldives in February 2014, with the aim of promoting affordable and accessible health care for all Maldivian nationals. Husnuvaa Aasandha – “healthcare for all without a ceiling protection limit” – extends the coverage of the previous national health insurance scheme “Aasandha” and removed the annual cap of MVR 100,000 per person per year of the previous scheme.