Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health (DOH) has issued a circular requiring all pharmacies to dispense generic medications listed on a DOH formulary beginning 1 September 2018. Patients will be able to choose between brand name or generic medicine, but they will be responsible for paying the difference in price between the DOH’s reference price and the price of the selected branded medicine or generic drug. Single source medicines and narrow therapeutic window medicines are excluded from the DOH’s generic formulary list.

The DOH will be evaluating the success of the initiative and make necessary changes to the policy in the coming months. Medical insurers will implement the changes on programs renewed after 1 September 2018. On existing policies that renewed prior to that date, members can continue to request branded medication without having to pay the price difference.