Court of Urgent Affairs Declares it has no Jurisdiction in the Drug Pricing Case... Ministry Seeks to Draw Out Litigation, Clings to a Pricing System That Harms Citizens

Press Release

30 September 2010

The fourth circuit of the Cairo Court of Urgent Affairs ruled today that it had no jurisdiction to hear a motion against a ruling suspending work under a new drug pricing system. The motion (no. 2246/2010) for an injunction to suspend implementation of the ruling issued by the Court of Administrative Justice was filed by the Minister of Health earlier this month.  

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) filed case no. 2457/64 with the Court of Administrative Justice against Minister of Health Decree 373/2009 establishing a new pricing system in September 2009. The decree replaced the old system in which the price of pharmaceuticals was based on the actual cost of the drug and instead linked drug prices in Egypt with global consumer prices. On 27 April 2010, the Court of Administrative Justice issued a stay against the decree, but the Ministry filed the aforementioned motion, as well as appeal no. 25178/56 with the Supreme Administrative Court. On 25 September, the first circuit of the Supreme Administrative Court adjourned the appeal to 6 December 2010 so that the Court's State Commissioners could submit a legal opinion on the matter.

“The Ministry of Health knew that the Court of Urgent Matters had no jurisdiction over the motion against the ruling filed by the Court of Administrative Justice, but it filed the motion with the wrong court just to draw out litigation,” said Adel Ramadan, the Legal Officer at EIPR “The question is why the Ministry is clinging so strongly to a drug pricing system that directly harms the interests of the citizenry and denies them the right to obtain medicine,” he added.