Medicines price increase comes into effect

Thursday 12-01-2017 05:22 PM

A pharmacist searches for medicine at a pharmacy in Cairo, Egypt, November 17, 2016. Picture taken November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany To match Insight EGYPT-CURRENCY/MEDICINE

CAIRO, Jan 12 (Aswat Masriya) - Health minister Ahmed Emad said the cabinet approved decision to raise prices for 3,000 medicines; as of Thursday.

This is the second wave of increasing medicines prices in less than one year. In May 2016, the cabinet decided to raise the medicines prices, less than EGP 30, up to 20%. 

The increase will reach up to 15% for local medicines and 20% for imported medicines, Emad told the press following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

However, the increase will not be added to the long-term medications, according to Emad.

This comes after an acute shortage of medicines over the past few months in relation with the foreign currency shortage.

The cabinet spent weeks in negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, following the currency floating in November 2016, over a convenient new price for medicines.

In mid November 2016, the cabinet allocated $ 186 millions to import 149 kinds of essential, and missing medicines.

Health ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed told state newspapers on Wednesday that the new increase in medicines prices will only include packets with a production date after the aforementioned decision.

This means, medicines which are still available will be sold with old prices.

Medicines shortage and the sky-rocketing increase in their prices caused widespread uproar. Pharmacists syndicate earlier pleaded the president to interfere in the plight. 


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