x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Lower drug prices good for heart and nerves

Twenty international pharmaceutical companies have accepted a request to reduce drug prices.

Twenty international pharmaceutical companies accepted the Ministry of Health’s request to reduce drug prices.

Among them were: GlaxoSmithKline, which reduced the prices of 103 drugs; Bayer Schering, which dropped the prices of 77 drugs; Pfizer, 53 drugs; Sanofi-aventis, 52 drugs; and Abbott Laboratories, 50 drugs.

Nearly half of the 498 drugs that have had price cuts this month are for diseases of the heart and central nervous system.

The high-blood-pressure medication Micardis, for example, now costs Dh127.50 for 28 tablets of 12.5mg, down about 17 per cent.

Rytmonorm, which treats illnesses associated with rapid heartbeat, will now be sold at Dh161.50 for 50 tablets 300mg, down about 20 per cent.

Two common antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections took 5 per cent price cuts.

The price for 20 film-coated 375mg tablets of Augmentin fell to Dh55.50, while the price of 20 500mg capsules of Amoxil decreased to Dh65.50.

Some price changes were more dramatic.

Echovist, injected for ultrasounds in cardiac examinations and sonograms, fell to Dh100 from Dh201.50.

Hycamtin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat ovarian cancer and small-cell lung cancer, dropped by more than half to Dh4,676 for five 4mg vials of the powder.

econroy@thenational.ae