Saturday, June 15, 2024

Pricing Reform for Generic Medicines: Tunisia Implements Comprehensive Internal Reference System

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Tunisia has taken a significant step towards enhancing the affordability and accessibility of medications by introducing an internal reference pricing system for all generic medicines supplied in the private sector. This strategic move, overseen by the Ministry of Trade and the Tunisian Central Pharmacy, aims to regulate the costs of pharmaceuticals, ensuring that essential medicines remain within the financial reach of the general population.

Under the newly implemented system, the prices of generic medicines are determined through a structured tiered model. The first generic version of a reference product must be priced at least 30% lower than the reference product itself. This substantial reduction aims to incentivize the use of cost-effective alternatives without compromising on quality. The second generic introduced into the market must be at least 5% cheaper than the first generic, ensuring a competitive market environment and fostering further price reductions.

Similarly, the third generic version must be priced at least 5% lower than the second generic, continuing the trend of incremental cost savings. Any additional generic versions introduced after the third will be priced at the same level as the third generic, ensuring that subsequent generics do not exceed the established affordable price point.

Tunisia’s Internal Reference Pricing System Ensures Affordable Generic Medicines through Regular Price Revisions

The internal reference pricing system also includes mechanisms for regular price revisions to ensure that costs remain aligned with market conditions and production costs. The Ministry of Trade is responsible for revising the retail prices of locally manufactured medicines. These revisions occur upon request and generally every five years, allowing for adjustments based on economic factors and production costs.

The Tunisian Central Pharmacy, the procurement agency operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, handles the revision of procurement prices for imported essential medicines. This agency is pivotal in procuring medicines for public hospitals and acts as the sole authorized importer of medicines for the private sector. By managing procurement prices, the agency aims to maintain a stable supply of essential medicines at controlled costs.

This pricing strategy not only aims to regulate the cost of medicines in the private market but also ensures that patients have access to affordable treatment options. By standardizing the pricing of generics, Tunisia hopes to reduce the financial burden on patients and improve the overall efficiency of the healthcare system. The structured approach to pricing will help to eliminate disparities in drug costs, making essential treatments more accessible to a larger segment of the population.


Tunisia Promotes Affordable Healthcare with Effective Generic Medicines and Transparent Pricing System

The system encourages the use of generic medicines, which are typically as effective as their brand-name counterparts but significantly more affordable. This shift towards generics can lead to substantial savings for both patients and the healthcare system as a whole.

The Tunisian government’s commitment to transparency and efficiency in the healthcare sector is evident through this initiative. Regular price reviews and the involvement of key regulatory bodies ensure that the system adapts to changing market dynamics while maintaining fair pricing standards. The introduction of internal reference pricing is a testament to Tunisia’s dedication to improving healthcare outcomes and ensuring that high-quality, affordable medicines are available to those in need.

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This comprehensive approach to drug pricing is expected to serve as a model for other countries looking to enhance the affordability and accessibility of healthcare, reinforcing Tunisia’s position as a leader in healthcare reform and innovation.


Resource: La Pharmacie Centrale De Tunisie, May, 2024

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