The Ministry of Health is working on a proposal to speed up access to new and advanced drugs while maintaining safety standards. This initiative is part of the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Pharmacies, which is expected to be considered and adopted at the 8th session of the National Assembly in October 2024, and will enter into force in 2025.

The amendment aims to pave the way for positive changes that will remove barriers and enable quick and sustainable access to treatment options for Vietnamese patients. The ministry predicts that this initiative will attract medical tourism to Vietnam by increasing the availability of advanced treatments.

Currently, Vietnamese patients face challenges in accessing new drugs compared to other countries, with only a fraction of newly introduced drugs available on the local market. This limited access hampers treatment options, especially for difficult conditions like cancer, where only a few approved therapies are available.

To solve this issue, the Ministry of Health proposes a reference mechanism that speeds up the approval process without compromising safety standards. This model is already in practice in several countries and has shown positive results in reducing approval times.

The draft law also contains provisions for streamlining administrative procedures and regulating the operations of domestic and foreign companies in the pharmaceutical sector. These measures aim to ensure a stable drug supply, reasonable prices, and quality standards while encouraging companies to introduce innovative drugs to Vietnam as soon as possible.

Overall, the proposed amendments seek to improve access to advanced drugs, reduce treatment costs, and promote a strong pharmaceutical market in Vietnam.

By Samantha Johnson

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