Pharmaceutical sector urged to develop essential medicines

The pharmaceutical sector should encourage the research and development of essential medicines that have not been produced in Vietnam.

Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu said this at a conference in Hanoi on June 23 to discuss ways of raising the country’s capability of accessing essential medicines.

According to Trieu, it is necessary to make a list of essential medicines that the country can produce, focusing on antibiotics and excipients to ensure a sufficient supply of medicines for treatment and the stabilisation of medicine prices.

In the coming time, the pharmaceutical sector needs to build a strategy to attract investment in the industry, Trieu said. He added that the country also needs to complete policies on human resources development in the sector, promote the protection of intellectual property, increase the access to essential medicines at reasonable prices, and boost dissemination on essential medicines.

Head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam Truong Quoc Cuong, said since 1995, Vietnam has introduced a list of 355 kinds of essential medicines, which has been adjusted periodically to suit the country’s disease situation.

At present, the country has nearly 42,000 retail drug stores nationwide. However, 592 communal medical centres still do not have drug stores.

90 percent of materials for pharmaceutical production and many medicines for special treatment have been imported.

During the conference, experts from the US, the UK and the World Health Organisation (WHO) shared their experiences in using original medicines, transferring the rights to drug production and regulations of prescription.