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Pharmacies on strike in Sudan capital

January 29 - 2018 KHARTOUM
A closed pharmacy in Khartoum (file photo)
A closed pharmacy in Khartoum (file photo)

More than 200 pharmacies in Khartoum closed their doors on Sunday in protest against new measures taken by the Medicines and Toxics Council.

Pharmacists in the Sudanese capital Khartoum opted for a general strike for the period of one week in response to the Medicines and Toxics Council decision to inspect the prices of pharmaceuticals.

“The Council uses an outdated list of medicine prices for the inspection,” a striking pharmacist told Radio Dabanga.

He explained that because of the scarcity of hard currency at the banks, medicines importing companies have to buy their Dollars from the black market at a price exceeding SDG 35, while the indicative price set by the Central Bank of Sudan is SDG 18.

“The government now wants to oblige us to sell medicines at prices cheaper than the purchase prices,” he said.

“Earlier, we requested the Bank of Sudan to provide Dollars for a price similar to the government's decision but the Bank refused.

“This means that the government liberated the prices of medicines without declaring it. In return, they want to impose the responsibility for the skyrocketing prices on the pharmacies.”

He said that the authorities have already closed pharmacies that violated the government's set prices and filed official complaints against them.

On Wednesday a number of pharmacies in Khartoum carried out a six-hour partial strike from work in protest against the unprecedented high prices of medicines (that increased more than 300 per cent this month) and the scarcity of life-saving medicines.

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