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The Ministry of Health in Vietnam is proposing a new reference mechanism to facilitate the circulation registration of drugs and speed up access to advanced treatments for the population. This initiative is expected to be included in the draft Law amending and supplementing the Pharmacy Law, which will be reviewed and approved during the 8th National Assembly session in October 2024, taking effect in 2025.

The Ministry of Health anticipates that this amendment will pave the way for positive changes, removing barriers and facilitating rapid and sustainable access to medicine for patients. This initiative is also aimed at attracting medical tourism to Vietnam by enhancing the availability of advanced treatments.

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

To address this issue, the Ministry of Health is proposing a reference mechanism that expedites drug approval while maintaining safety standards. This model has been recommended by the World Health Organization and is already being used successfully in several countries.

The draft law also includes provisions to streamline administrative procedures and regulate the operations of domestic and foreign enterprises in the pharmaceutical sector. These measures aim to ensure stable drug supply, reasonable prices, and quality standards while incentivizing businesses to introduce innovative medications sooner.

Overall, these proposed amendments seek to enhance access to advanced medicines, reduce treatment costs and promote a robust pharmaceutical market in Vietnam.

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