Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (Rwanda FDA) is currently working on implementing the Pharmaceutical Pricing and Containment Policy that will see prices of pharmaceutical products regulated. According to officials, the policy is expected to be ready for implementation by October this year. Passed by cabinet in October last year, the policy is aimed at regulating the prices of pharmaceutical products with a view to putting an end to pricing malpractices by different players in the industry. Under the policy, the government, through the Rwanda FDA and other relevant institutions, will set the price range for each pharmaceutical product after considering factors including the original acquisition price (manufacturer’s price), freight services involved in delivering the product to Rwanda, among other costs. It will increase control over the cost of pharmaceutical products as well as improving the monitoring of the related costs along the supply chain. Currently, the FDA is conducting a countrywide cost analysis of drugs in hospitals, health centers and pharmacies, a move aimed at developing and validating regulations and guidelines related to price containment of pharmaceuticals in private and public sectors. The institution is also carrying out a pricing survey, where it is sampling 100 different essential medicines, so as to make an estimation of the maximum prices that the pharmaceutical businesses should not exceed. It is expected that both activities will be completed by early next month, and by then, ground will have been set to start implementing the policy. In an interview with The New Times, Dr Marcel Bahizi, a Market and Pricing Analyst at the FDA said these are aimed at finding out the costs involved with pharmaceutical products in various places of the country, so as to determine the profit margins for these products. “This will assist us have transparency in the pharmaceutical sector, and it will facilitate our citizens who are the end-users of the medicine, and investors who wish to invest in a country that regulates pharmaceuticals,” he said. In an earlier interview, Dr Charles Karangwa, the former acting Director General of the FDA told this newspaper that the policy will limit the tendency of hiking the prices of medicine on the market without any basis. “For instance, during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have observed a critical situation where some businesses may be having particular products in stock, while others don’t. So, as a result, those who have the products try to make profit from the situation by hiking the prices,” he said. As part of the policy’s implementation, upon importation of pharmaceutical products, they will have to pass through a product information management system so that their original acquisition price (manufacturers’ prices) are recorded, and they will be marked.