Price ceiling to be imposed on pharmaceutical drugs

A shipment of pharmaceutical drugs imported to Maldives. (Sun Photo)

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has revealed the government’s intention to impose price ceilings on pharmaceutical drugs.

Whilst presenting the budget statement today at Parliament – Minister Ameer noted that the largest recurrent expenditure by the government on one specific thing is Aasandha, the national social health insurance scheme – under its social protection mechanism. Citing that Aasandha is a limitless system – Minister Ameer said that this has born some poor habits leading to wastage.

In this regard – he detailed that the government plans to take certain steps next year to decrease wastage from tax money as well as to decrease the amount of money spent on medical expenses from the state budget and by the people.

“Will impose price ceilings on pharmaceutical drugs next year in order to close the doors which have been opened for businesses to generate excessive revenue. Additionally, will also work on solidifying policies on the procurement of pharmaceutical drugs in order reduce prices further,” he explained

A price ceiling is an imposed price control, or limit, on how high a price is charged for a product, commodity, or service. Governments use price ceilings ostensibly to protect consumers from conditions that could make commodities prohibitively expensive.

In the proposed budget for next year – a total of MVR 3.1 billion has been allotted for social protection; with MVR 731 million being allotted for Aasandha scheme.