Dollarisation of drug prices by Jan 2006

ABU DHABI — A uniform exchange rate for drug prices that will be exclusively pegged to dollar will be introduced in the UAE from next year onwards to regularise prices, health ministry sources told Khaleej Times yesterday.

By Anjana Sankar

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Published: Sun 18 Sep 2005, 10:53 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:20 PM

"We are planning to implement the 'dollarisation' of drug prices in the Emirate so that irrespective of the country of origin of medicines that are imported here, their exchange rates will be equalled to dollar," Humaid Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Pharmacies and Supplies said.

Shamsi noted that the current system of fixing import prices in other currencies like Sterling, Euro, Dinar and Rupees depending on their place of origin will be scrapped once dollarisation is implemented by January 2006.

"The move is aimed to prevent price fluctuations in the market caused by forex variations. As UAE dirham is already pegged to dollar, forex fluctuations affecting any currency other than dollar will not affect the local prices," he said adding that discussions were already under way with various European and Middle Eastern companies.

According to him, dollarisation will also help the ministry to ensure that pharmacies sell medicines according to ministerial regulations. Drugs are imported from UK, Australia, Europe, Asia and other regions, which have different currencies leading to price fluctuations.

Now the government has devised a new policy under which all drugs will be imported in terms of US dollars, which has a fixed exchange rate against the UAE dirham.

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