Aasandha, the state-initiated health insurance scheme, is undergoing revisions on its baseline prices.
According to Aasandha Company Ltd, the revisions are part of government's austerity measures on medical expenditure.
Managing Director of Aasandha Company Ms. Aminath Zeeniya on Monday, August 15, confirmed work was underway to revise baseline prices of Aasandha insurance scheme with a World Health Organization (WHO) consultant's support.
She further confirms meeting all relevant bodies from July 3 to 7 to discuss the revisions.
Under the current guideline of Aasandha, pharmacies sell medication at same rates. The rates are dictated by Aasandha under "common prices." However, due to varying circumstances, retail prices on medicine differ across pharmacies.
The first time price revisions of medications started in 2019. While it remains yet to be seen how state aims to reduce expenditure on medications through Aasandha price revisions, it had managed to save close to MVR19 million from a medication titled 'Juventa' nearly three years back.
Aasandha Company affirms first draft on price revisions will be completed by the first quarter of 2023.
Earlier, state announced a budget of MVR730 million on Aasandha health insurance scheme for 2022. However, the budget has been completely expended by mid of the year.
State reportedly spend an annual total of MVR800 million on procuring medications.
Due to the high state expenditure, Aasandha is also attempting to fix maximum price for medications, which would restrict pharmaceuticals from selling medicine at unreasonably hiked prices.
Initially state aimed to implement a Maximum Retail Price (MRP) guideline for 2022, which will be executed under two distinct phases. However, due to several unforeseen reasons, the initiative did not kick off.