Call to produce medicine locally to reduce costs

DUBAI — The Minister of Health, Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qutami, yesterday urged local pharmaceutical companies to spend more on producing medicine locally so as to cut costs.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 8 Apr 2007, 8:45 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:37 AM

Addressing nephrologists during a two- day conference on ‘Optimisation of Care in Chronic Kidney Diseases’ held in Park Hyatt yesterday the minister said, “A person suffering from renal failure spends up to $20,000 each year on medication. “

He called for a strategic plan to find a suitable solution to patient care. “This is also possible if pharmaceutical firms find good investors,” he added.

“High cost of medicine, especially required after renal transplants may mean less patient care. This will also mean that rejection of organs may eventually lead to death,” he said.

Al Qutami said that dialysis which is regularly required by kidney patients, also leads to anaemia.

“Anaemia is the cause of death among 50 per cent of patients, and not kidney disease,” he said, adding that other diseases related to kidney failure included diabetes and hypertension.

He also said that there was a high prevalence of dialysis world over with 800 per million persons (PMP) in Europe, 975 PMP in USA and 1,149 PMP in Japan.

“In the GCC region, the prevalence is among 80-120 PMP,” he added.

Abdul Razzaq Yousaf, Chief Executive Officer of Julphar, who shed light on the drug Epotin to cure anaemia said, “We have tied with the Ministry of Health to provide this drug to patients at 50 per cent of the cost. We also plan on doing the same with other drugs which we will manufacture locally.”

He also revealed that Julphar was setting up a new plant to biotechnologically manufacture raw materials for an insulin drug.

“This plant will be set up at a cost of $80 million in Ras Al Khaimah in two years.”

“We will produce Insulin crystals and aim to be among the only five players in this field,” he added.

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