AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh has reversed the Jordan Food and Drug Administration’s (JFDA) decision to prohibit the import of all medicine into the Kingdom without prior approval, regardless of quantity.

Khasawneh announced the decision during a meeting on Wednesday between Parliament and government representatives.

Some citizens praised Khasawneh’s decision on social media, describing it as the “right decision”, expressing hope for lower medication prices and taxes in the future.

One Twitter user, Yasser Al Sayegh, expressed his gratitude for the PM’s decision, posting: “I am glad that the decision is cancelled. It is a great move from the PM and I hope there will be another decision soon to reduce the tax on medicines because the price differences between Jordan and other countries are crazy.”

Doctor and former member of the Jordan Medical Association, Farah Shawawreh, wrote on Facebook that new medicines exist that have proven effective in reducing kidney damage associated with diabetes, particularly useful for those who have had heart failure from the disease.

However, she added that, “These medicines are unavailable in government health centers, but only in private hospitals, under complicated procedures that take a long time.”

She also said that these medications have high prices compared to their prices in other countries and called on the government to lower taxes and medication prices.

Lama Montaser, a pharmacist in Amman, told The Jordan Times that the PM’s decision to cancel the JFDA’s decision was “inevitable”.

“Many Jordanians get their medicine from abroad due to the high prices and unavailability of some medications,” Montaser said, noting her beliefs that the government should only restrict the “non-vital” medications.

She also emphasised the need to lower medication prices and for all medicines to be up-to-date so people will not have to resort to buying them from abroad.

“The pharmaceutical industry is struggling in Jordan and we cannot deny that and it is due to the high prices of medicines with low purchasing power of citizens and bad economic circumstances,” Montaser added.

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Batool Ghaith