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Taleen El Gharib 18 Nov 2021

Subsidies Lifted Off Chronic Illness Medications

The downward trend of the country’s economic state has left its mark on the medical and pharmaceutical sector, and getting your hands on medication has unfortunately become a luxury for many.

The decision to partially lift the subsidies off chronic illness medications was announced by the Minister of Health Firas Abiad recently and was met with outrage, as life-saving medications are no longer attainable for the majority of the population due to their prices.

The price change is as follows:

Medications priced between 0 and 12,000LBP: Subsidized by 25%

Medications priced between 12,000LBP and 25,000LBP: Subsidized by 45%

Medications priced 25,000LBP and 100,000LBP: Subsidized by 65%

Medications regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are of the most commonly used among the Lebanese population, witnessed a skyrocket in prices. Here are some of the new prices for some chronic illness medications:

Arbiten 160

Purpose: Regulation of blood pressure
Old price: 18,926LBP
New price: 126,000LBP

Ascova 20mg

Purpose: Managing cholesterol levels
Old price: 39,000LBP
New price: 183,000LBP

Ariprezil 5mg

Purpose: Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
Old price: 49,000LBP
New price: 223,000LBP

It is important to mention that stopping any of these medications abruptly can have serious ramifications on health that may even lead to death. As our corrupt and inept politicians plan for the upcoming elections, countless Lebanese people are having to ration medications they can no longer afford.

The medications that were exempted from the decision are medications for intractable illnesses, (such as cancer), for psychological and mental disorders, and medications used in hospitals (injectables).

Basic needs are becoming more unattainable, as the population is either experiencing a scarcity of their medications from the market or an unimaginable increase in their prices, making them unaffordable for many.