The Pharmacy Owners Committee called on pharmacists to close pharmacies on Tuesday in protest until 2 PM.
They will gather at 9:30 AM in front of the Ministry of Health to demand an end to the indiscriminate smuggling of medicines without any control. These may include counterfeit, as well as expired or ineffective medicines due to poor storage and transportation, which poses a great danger to the health of citizens.
They stressed that most of these smuggled medicines have locally manufactured alternatives of high quality, under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.
They also called on the Health Minister, Dr. Firas Al-Abyad, to set up a weekly indicator for the medicines to ensure their continuous distribution to pharmacies without interruption so that losses don’t recur at every exchange rate change.
The committee reported, in a statement jointly with the Pharmacists Syndicate, that as “usual and with every increase in the dollar exchange rate, the importers stop delivering pharmacies their daily needs of medicines.”
This comes following the refusal of the Health Ministry to issue a new price index that mimics the reality of the market, where this matter causes the depletion of pharmacies’ stocks of medicines.
It also puts at risk the health security of citizens as a result of the interruption of a significant number of necessary medicines, especially medicines for chronic and emerging diseases.
“All that concerns us is the continuation of providing our pharmacies with medicines so that we can perform our duty towards patients,” they stressed in their statement, pointing out that “most importers have stopped delivering medicines to pharmacies more than 5 days ago.”
“Throughout this time, pharmacists have continued to deliver their medicines to patients as usual, but this matter cannot continue,” they noted.
Their objection came after the importers announced that they would not resume delivery of medicines before the issuance of a new price index from the Ministry of Health.