Pharmacies In Lebanon Are Striking To Protest Medicine Shortage

TNNLB/Reuters

The Syndicate of Pharmacies in Lebanon has called for a general strike on Tuesday to sound the alarms for a medicine shortage.

The syndicate urged pharmacies across the country to join them in a sit-in as vital medications are missing from the market.

The syndicate blames the shortage primarily on Banque du Liban for threatening to remove subsidies on medicine, resulting in consumer bulk purchasing and stockpiling.

“The reason behind the shortage of drugs is that people have been hoarding drugs for more than a month in preparation for the end of the subsidy,” said a pharmacy owner to Arabian Business.

According to Al-Akhbar, some pharmacists even believe the importers are cutting them off only to sell the medicine for a higher price once the subsidy is removed.

Left with empty shelves as a result of panic buying, pharmacies in Lebanon have been closing their doors due to limited quantities of medicine.

Over 300 pharmacies in Lebanon have had to shut down due to the financial situation.

The head of the Syndicate of Pharmacists in Lebanon, Ghassan Al-Amine, has long warned of the sector’s imminent collapse if the situation persists and worsens.

Last month, Al-Amine said that there was only enough stock of medicine to last a month and a half.

In addition, the smuggling of medicine outside of Lebanon is adding to the crisis.

Last week, Lebanese security forces at the airport foiled an attempt to smuggle large quantities of medicine outside of Lebanon to Egypt.

A medicine shortage is not an issue to be ignored. For many, vital medication is an important necessity as food and water.

Lebanon is already suffering a health crisis with the speedily spreading coronavirus and the alarming rise of cases, let alone adding to that a shortage of vital meds, especially those for chronic illnesses.

It is a looming catastrophe over the existing ones that the people are hardly managing to cope with.

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Pharmacies In Lebanon Are Striking To Protest Medicine Shortage

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