Health Ministry assures no medicine shortage in fracas with pharma companies

1. MoH Pharma
In a statement, the head of the Jordan Pharmacists Association said the government had JD160 million in unpaid bills to the sector, which a Health Ministry statement on Monday denied. (Photo: JNews)
AMMAN  — The Ministry of Health in a statement Monday denied any shortage of medicines exists in Jordan.

The statement was issued in response to news published by Al-Ghad News quoting the head of the Jordan Pharmacists Association (JPA), Zaid Al-Kilani, who said the government’s unpaid bills to the sector amounted to JD160 million.اضافة اعلان

Kilani said in a statement that pharmaceutical companies are suffering from a shortage of liquidity, which threatens their ability to secure the healthcare sector’s needs of medicines and medical supplies.

He said the JPA had already contacted the government several times to ask them to pay the money they owe pharmaceutical companies, but to date only JD20 million of that money has been paid.

Kilani underlined that the government bears the responsibility in the event medicines are no longer available in either the public or private sectors.

He said that the strategic stockpile of medicines and medical supplies has begun to run low.

He further added that some public sector debts to the sector are more than four years old, especially those of university hospitals. Kilani said that JD50 million was allocated in the budget appendix but was not disbursed to pharmaceutical importers.

Regarding payment of money owed to pharmaceutical companies, the ministry statement stressed that it is committed to paying the JD20 million it owes pharmaceutical companies; JD10 million will be paid this week and JD10 million will be paid next month.

It added that further payments will continue from the money set aside for this purpose through the Ministry of Finance, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The statement said the ministry has the highest regard for the pharmaceutical sector and aims to help maintain the financial stability of these companies so they may continue to supply the healthcare sector’s needs of medicines and medical supplies.

The statement said that at a meeting on September 21 between the representatives of pharmaceutical companies and the ministries of health and finance, the money paid to importers this year, which amounted to JD40 million, was discussed.

The statement said that the Government Procurement Department has paid a further JD55 million of the money owed by the Ministry of Health to pharmaceutical companies to cover money owed by university hospitals.

The Finance Ministry has paid JD13 million to general hospitals and university hospitals this year on the understanding that they use the money to pay what is owed by them to pharmaceutical companies.

The ministry also committed to paying a further JD50 million to pharmaceutical companies in the first quarter of 2022.

The Health Ministry statement said it has enough medicines stockpiled to meet its needs until March 2022.

The statement said that the strategic stockpile of medicines at its central warehouses is being constantly monitored, and indicated the availability of all medicines in warehouses across the various provinces.

The statement said that all medicine stockpiles are monitored to ensure not shortage occurs, stressing that for almost every medicine there is at least one alternative.

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