The head of the National Health Authority, Dr. Ismail Sukkariyah, confirmed that “local drug production can suffice the needs of the Lebanese market or the largest part of it, but without it there are many obstacles, the first of which is the” medicine cartel “. More than half of the medicine in Lebanon is monopolized by 5 major companies, more than 30% by smaller companies, while the Lebanese industry acquires no more than 15% of it, and this cartel reaps huge profits that will not be easily dispensed with. “
In an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Sukariyah said, “Most countries have deliberately reduced their drug bills by adopting ginric (the alternative which is usually cheaper), as it represents 90 percent of the pharmaceutical market in the United States, and 80 percent in European countries. While it remains a slogan in Lebanon, as there are only 850 generics out of 6 thousand drugs in the Lebanese market, “noting that” some pharmaceutical companies, to gain more profits, registered 2,700 drugs without bringing them to the market, as they bought the license without benefiting. ” From him in order not to allow other companies to introduce cheaper medicine. “
He considered that “one of the wonders of Lebanon is that the price of generic is more than the price of the basic medicine, and this is present in Lebanon in dozens of medicines,” pointing out that “the second basic issue that must be taken into account when Lebanon decides to increase the domestic production of the drug is to secure a central laboratory to examine the drug.” Who will produce it or to check the raw materials that go into its manufacture, so that an ineffective drug is not produced. “
He pointed out that a number of countries, including Gulf states, refused to import Lebanese medicines for reasons of quality, indicating that “the tendency to rationalize support in parallel with working to support the production of national medicine may be an effective solution and does not require much time, but it requires political will and serious plans. It is based on measures to encourage the Lebanese manufacturer, including providing tax exemptions.