Vietnam’s New Drugs Access Initiative: Expediting Innovations for Better Healthcare Outcomes

New medications will be available to patients soon

The Ministry of Health has proposed implementing a reference mechanism in drug circulation registration to speed up access to new and advanced drugs while ensuring safety. This initiative is part of a draft law that aims to amend and supplement certain articles of the Pharmacy Law. The revised Pharmacy Law is expected to be reviewed and approved during the 8th National Assembly session in October 2024, with regulations taking effect in 2025.

According to a representative of the Ministry of Health, the proposed changes aim to remove barriers and facilitate quicker, more sustainable access to medicine for the people. This initiative presents an opportunity for Vietnam to attract medical tourism, addressing challenges faced by Vietnamese patients in accessing new and advanced drugs compared to other countries.

Data from IQVIA MIDAS revealed that only 9% of new drugs introduced globally over the past decade were present in Vietnam in the first quarter of 2022. The slow availability of advanced drugs limits treatment options for patients, particularly those with serious illnesses like cancer. Patients often seek treatment abroad due to significant financial burdens, leading to financial strain on families and society as a whole.

The Ministry’s proposal aligns with global trends and has been successful in expediting approval processes for new drugs in other countries through streamlined administrative procedures and clear regulations for domestic and foreign enterprises. By creating a stable pharmaceutical market that offers innovative drugs at reasonable prices and high quality, Vietnam can improve healthcare outcomes while reducing financial burdens on patients and their families.

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