The outgoing Minister of Industry, Imad Hoballah, declared himself in favor of stopping subsidies for important drugs whose alternatives are produced in Lebanon.

The minister thus made his remarks in front of a delegation of local drug manufacturers.

the time has come to stop subsidizing any imported medicine similar to that produced in Lebanon. It is also time to support the Lebanese pharmaceutical sector in the same way as the subsidies granted to imports.

Imad Hoballah

He also noted that some manufacturing units are on the verge of bankruptcy due to late payment arrears due to lack of available funds.

Imad Hoballah revealed that the local pharmaceutical industry produces 682 types of drugs whose imports of similar products cost around 400 million dollars. Manufacturers also have the capacity to respond to the entire current market and thus reduce the bill that this would represent for the Banque du Liban and depositors. The minister said he had made an appointment with the governor of the Banque du Liban to discuss it.

This information comes at a time when the Banque du Liban is struggling to find the necessary financing for the subsidy program for the purchase of basic necessities, including drugs.

Some essential drugs are therefore already lacking on the local market and others. The inability of the Banque du Liban to pay the arrears of drug imports for several months, a debt that would represent nearly $ 600 million already vis-à-vis drug manufacturers. In addition to paracetamol for a number of months, critical drugs are already lacking on the market, including those used for chemotherapy or even certain endocrine treatments.

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