HA NOI — The Ha Noi Health Department reported on Wednesday that the prices of 240 out of 4,000 drug items have increased by between 3 and 30 per cent during the last two weeks.
Inspectors found that they could not come up with a way to deal with the ongoing problem because despite being raised, prices have stayed within the registered rate. The department's Chief Inspector Nguyen Viet Cuong said that about 70 per cent of drug items had sale prices under the registered level.
According to the department, pharmaceutical companies took advange of legal loop-holes in registration regulations to set a high ceiling price.
The Price Ordiance and Pharmaceutical Law state that these companies must fix the domestic drug price based on their imported price of CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight), the foreign exchange difference and additional expenses of 30 per cent.
Provided prices do not exceed the registered level, enterprises will face no legal problems, said Cuong.
Inspectors found a drug store owned by the Central Pharmaceutical Company selling its Boganic product with posted price of VND1,050 per capsule, lower than its registered price of VND1,500. They explained that the product's price could be increased up to 90 per cent compared with the original price, but would still be lower than the registered price.
Thang Loi Pharmaceutical Company' s Calcium D product, whose price has been adjusted several times, is currently being sold at VND13,500 (US$0.6) per box, the same as its registered price since 2007.
The Central Pharmaceutical Company 2 reported increased prices for 13 of 207 drug items due to foreign exchange rate adjustments and increasing transport costs. Traphaco Company also increased prices of three products between 17-25 per cent because of increased currency rates and costs of raw pharmaceutical materials.
The Sao Thai Duong JSC said they had to increase the prices of 9 of 11 products between 15-25 per cent due to increased labour salaries and higher raw materials prices. — VNS