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Hopes Across Qatar Towards Decreasing Medicines Prices

DohaIn the way to decrease medicines prices in , the () is expected to shortly allow new importers to bring medicines to the country from multiple sources. Industry sources said “The few wholesale dealers, who had been enjoying monopoly over the market for years, would rule the roost until the industry gets ready for open competition with an expected entry of new importers”. During the previous month prices of most medicines shot up by 10 to 25%, following lifting of government control over pricing, as demanded by a set of newly issued laws.

Although the prices were expected to decrease due to those laws by liberalizing imports and opening the market to competition, the immediate result was a price hike, as dealers and pharmacies have been left free to fix the prices on their own. A citizen commented “The same batch of medicines from the same manufacturer is sold at different prices at different pharmacies. There is a difference of more than QR10 in some cases”.

The proprietor of a pharmacy chain in added “With lifting of government control over pricing, there are no uniform prices in the market. The wholesalers issue a price list and we decide the retail price based on that, considering our profit margin. There may be variations in the prices, as in the case of other commodities, but they will be narrowed down as the market matures for competition”. It’s believed by industry sources that as a result of importing several products from various sources which will be available in the market, prices would come down in the near future.

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