Pharmaceutical Players Defend Increased Drug Prices

Pharmaceutical Society of Malawi has justified a surge in prices of drugs in pharmacies attributing it to unstable economic forces like recent devaluation and forex shortage in the country.

Speaking to Zodiak Online on Thursday, the Society's President William Mpute, disagreed that prices of drugs have gone up in most pharmacies across the country to reap on Malawians taking advantage of the acute shortage of the same in public facilities.

Mpute said unstable economic forces such as recent devaluation, Covid-19 and forex shortage in the country have put pharmaceuticals in an awkward situation to import medical supplies.

"This is a situation which we are in simply because of some external forces that we cannot control. By the way, prices of almost every commodity in the country are on the rise, so that could be one of the reasons.

"If it was only medicine which their prices have been hiked, then that could been cause for a high alarm to say that there is a best way to intervene. But this is the situation that we are all in. It could be because of shortage of forex which we are experiencing as a country, also due to Covid 19, logistics have changed almost everywhere and devaluation," Mpute said.

He added that the Society already warned of this situation since the country continues relying on importing drugs instead of capacitating local pharmaceuticals and scientists to be producing quality generic supplies.

Meanwhile, Competition and Fair-Trading Commission (CFTC) Spokesperson Innocent Herema, said buyers should report to the Commission traders taking advantage of the situation for appropriate action.

Zodiak has established that some drugs which were at K1, 500 some three months ago in pharmacies around Thyolo boma, are now up by K500 or K1, 000.

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