Controlling Medicine Prices in Sudan
This study evaluated the capacity of the medicine pricing mechanism of the National Medicines and Poisons Board (NMPB), the medicine regulatory agency of Sudan, in controlling prices of imported medicines. The study was conducted between July and September 2008 and data on the 50 most sold medicines in 2007 were obtained from the records of the regulatory authority and pharmacies in Khartoum; 135 products were included. The cost and freight (C&F) prices of 23% of the selected medicines approved by NMPB were over 10 times the International Reference Price; 71% of these items were generics. The wholesale price of only 40% of the studied medicines was less than that approved by NMPB, while the retail price of 47% of medicines was less than that approved by the authority. The retail price of 11 of 12 originator medicines was equal to or more than their prices published in the British National Formulary. The price of the medicines distributed by Central Medical Supplies was about 2-fold their C&F price. The current pricing system is of limited benefit in controlling medicine prices in Sudan.