Vietnam’s National Assembly recently approved a new Pharmacy Law that will be fully implemented in 2017. It will eliminate the country’s current clinical trial requirement for drugs, along with other changes. Currently, Vietnam’s clinical trial requirement has led to a shortage of innovative modern drugs, resulting in the inability to deal with pressing medical issues. This has caused many wealthy people in Vietnam to seek medical treatment overseas. The elimination of the clinical trial requirement will increase the country’s access to recently developed Western medication, leading to better medical care and shorter hospital wait times.
Other changes outlined by the new Pharmacy Law include the establishment of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) and increased promotion of orphan drugs. Through PAPs, drugs will be made available to disadvantaged patients at affordable costs or free of charge to many healthcare institutions. Orphan drugs will also be more readily available to patients in need as the new law quickens the registration timetable for such drugs.
These changes will largely impact access to care in Vietnam. Vietnam’s growing middle class and wealthy population continue to demand greater medical treatment. The new Pharmaceutical Law will allow companies to quickly and efficiently supply new sophisticated drugs.