People can cross check medicine prices with MOH lists in stores
July 17, 2019 | 9:40 PM
by Times News Service
Representational image

Muscat: People can now compare the price of medicines listed on the pharmacy bottles with official lists available at pharmacies, in order to make sure that they haven’t been overcharged.

A statement by the Ministry of Health (MoH) read, “The Directorate General of Pharmaceutical Affairs and Control points out that all citizens and residents have the right to confirm the ratified price of medicines by comparing the price on the drug bottle with the price list available in the pharmacy.

Pharmacies in Oman have a list of prices to which they are required to adhere, so to make sure that everyone can purchase medication at official prices.

The manager of a pharmacy in Al Khoudh told Times of Oman that his store had an electronic list that it keeps in a database. “If customers ask the pharmacy about a specific price, the employee will show him the MoH price, which should match the list provided by the MoH,” the manager said. However, he pointed out that since the list was very long, it was not printed out.

According to him, some customers sometimes visit two pharmacies or more to make sure that the price of their medicine is correct.

In this case, the ministry suggested another solution. “When any disparity is spotted, inform the MOH Call Centre and the Directorate General will take the necessary action,” the statement added.

According to rules, all prices in local pharmacies should be the same. “The price of medicines across all the Sultanate’s Governorates are unified according to the list distributed to all pharmacies, which are updated from time to time based on changes that occur in this regard,” the statement added.

The ministry’s statement came during a recent meeting by the Technical Committee of Pharmaceutical Companies and their Products Registration and Drug Pricing, chaired by the Director General of Pharmaceutical Affairs and Control Dr. Mohammed Hamdan Al Rubaie.

The meeting agenda included the registration of six new pharmaceutical companies and reduction in price of 16 pharmaceutical products, as well as a review of the registration and pricing applications of 22 pharmaceutical products.

In this context, Al Rubaie exclusively spoke to Times of Oman about changes in medication prices: “Companies are first informed about lowered pricing for medication, and they are given a period to object to the new prices. If the company objects, the committee studies its opinion.

“A date for the change is given, with the new prices being posted on the ministry’s website and periodically updated after they are implemented and after the companies have stated their objections and these have been noted,” he added.

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