Drug price revisions and cuts in Thailand

This month, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health announced a new national drug list with lower prices for drugs treating cancer, glaucoma, and anemia.

In accordance with this revised drug list, the Ministry has pushed for pharmaceutical firms to reduce cancer drug pricing by over 60 percent over the last few months. The Ministry met with multi-national companies such as Sanofi-Aventis and Novartis to negotiate pricing and stated that drugs could not be added to the national list without lower prices.

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the new drug list will be announced in the government gazette. It will then be distributed to all hospitals in the country. Thailand’s FDA started revising the 692 products listed in the old national drug list last year to account for the cheaper and newly developed drugs currently on the global pharmaceutical market. The old national drug list is from 2003, and many global prices have dropped since then. In addition, the FDA is adding new effective drugs recently released on the market.

Thailand’s FDA removed 33 drugs from the old list and added 24 new drugs. The new drugs added include Novartis’ imatinib for leukemia and gastric cancer, Sanofi-Aventis’ docetaxel for lung and breast cancer, Allergan’s bimatoprost for glaucoma, and others.