Guidelines on drug pricing needed

I recently visited a private clinic for a routine check-up. As I was running low on my daily medication, which I usually purchase at the local pharmacy, I decided to get some at the clinic.

I was charged $25.68 by the clinic for a box of the medication which retails at $10.95 in a Unity Pharmacy.

The Singapore Medical Council, which I contacted, informed me that it does not issue guidelines on the price of medication.

While it would be acceptable to pay a little bit more at the clinic to compensate for the overheads involved, as well as for the convenience, paying more than twice the market price is excessive.

Doctors should not make money by selling medication. Their services are already paid for in the form of consultation fees.

Regulations should be introduced to protect patients from such practices.

Gil Simon Schneider (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2015, with the headline 'Guidelines on drug pricing needed'. Print Edition | Subscribe