That is why we have resorted to lifting partial subsidies for chronic disease medicines

The Minister of Health, Firas Al-Abyad, revealed that “there is nothing left of the budget that allows for the full support of chronic diseases medicines, so we resorted to lifting part of the support, not lifting the entire support.”

Al-Abyad assured that “we will see a gradual breakthrough in pharmacies in the presence of medicine,” pointing out that “we are heading towards comprehensive health coverage in which we give medicines to citizens for free, but the problem is always in the funding.”

In an interview with the “Voice of the People” program via LBCI and Voice of Beirut International, he said: “When the Ministry of Health received the warehouses of Karantina, they were empty of medicines, and 4 months had passed since no medicine entered Lebanon after the dispute between the Central Bank and drug importers, which Create a void in the pharmaceutical market.

He added, “We had two options, either to remain in the vicious circle or to make a decision to take the budget that was available to us from the Central Bank, and we divided it according to priorities, and the priority was for cancer drugs.”

He continued, “There was nothing left of the budget that would allow us to fully support chronic diseases medicines, so we resorted to removing part of the support, not lifting the entire support.”

He explained, “We have solutions for people who are unable to purchase chronic diseases medicines, as primary health care centers provide 90 types of medicines for chronic diseases free of charge.”

He pointed out that “cancer patients do not have time, and we could have continued to pull the ropes with the Central Bank for another 4 months, but there are patients who do not have the luxury of time and they are the ones who were paying the price.”

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