UAE: Health Ministry helps low-income expats with affordable medicines


The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) expanded the scope of the “Hand in Hand” initiative that aims to provide affordable medicines to uninsured and low-income expat patients.

The ministry signed an appendix to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and Axios, a global healthcare consulting firm, to ensure the affordability of medicines to low-income patients or those whose insurance companies do not cover the cost of treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, multiple myeloma, active ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis.

The initiative benefited 712 eligible patients when the MoU was first signed in December 2018. In April 2019, an extension of the program was signed to provide new medication to patients with specific health conditions.

The agreement is part of the commitment to improving access to innovative drugs, especially for low-income expat patients who can’t afford the costs of their treatment.

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Health Regulation Sector at the ministry, said, “MoHAP is committed to providing the best medicines for all low-income expat patients in the country. In this context, we launched the “Hand in Hand” initiative in cooperation with Jansen and Axios International in 2018, and we are currently working on expanding the scope of this initiative to support and enhance patients’ access to innovative medicines.”

He noted that the initiative targets uninsured low-income expat patients to improve their adherence to the treatment plan prescribed by their attending physician.

“The initiative also covers eligible low-income non-Emirati patients who are uninsured, under-insured, and financially distressed patients,” said Al Amiri.

He noted that the ministry is committed to cooperating with companies and institutions to improve the quality of life of patients, services and treatments for various health conditions.

“This is part of MoHAP’s strategy to provide an integrated healthcare system for our patients and community members in accordance with the highest international standards,” noted Al Amiri.

The MoU was signed at the US pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai by Al Amiri, Jimmy Faris, Managing Director, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and Anas Al-Safarini, Senior Director, MENA, Axios International in the presence of the US Consul General Meghan Gregonis and the accompanying delegation along with a number of officials from Janssen and Axios.

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