The head of the Syndicate of Pharmaceutical Factories in Lebanon, Carol Abi Karam, revealed that the local industry provides basic chronic medicines and covers more than 20 of the most commonly used medicines in Lebanon, in addition to a wide segment of intractable medicines.
She affirmed that alternatives to subsidized medicines exist, including both basic and advanced meds for cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes.
“Their prices are 60% and 40% less than the brands, and the quantities are sufficient for the needs of the local market,” she added.
According to Abi Karam, the local factories are working to increase their production capacity as well as the types of medicines. “All of this is linked to the Banque du Liban’s release of our bills in a quick and immediate manner,” she noted.
In another statement, Abi Karam indicated that “while maintaining full support for imported raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry, national factories will be able to secure the drug at reasonable prices lower by about 30% of similar imported brands, and about 15% less than similar imported generic drugs.”
According to her, the local pharmaceutical industry produces “700 medicinal products for the most prevalent and needed chronic diseases, […] some cancerous and incurable diseases drugs” and a wide range of about 500 acute drugs and OTC drugs that do not require a prescription.
She also assured that new types of locally-produced medicines will be soon available in the market to meet the diverse needs of people in Lebanon.
According to her, there are 12 factories in the country, 3 of which cover the entire market need of basic serums and injections.
These factories, she said, are highly qualified and internationally certified, and equipped with the latest technology and equipment.
“These factories have won the trust of thirty-six international laboratories, which led to the transfer of manufacturing a large number of drugs from these laboratories to Lebanon and marketing them locally and in the countries of the region,” her statement said.
This comes following the public reactions at the Minister of Public Health, Firass Abiad partially lifting subsidies on medicines, including those used for chronic diseases, which resulted in a huge increase in their prices.