Pharmacists: ‘Catastrophic’ medicine situation in Sudan

The Professional Pharmacists Association of Sudan say that the meteoric rise in the price of essential medicines has created a ‘catastrophic’ situation where “some remedies now cost more than the minimum wage”.

The Professional Pharmacists Association of Sudan say that the soaring prices of essential medicines have created a catastrophic situation.

“Some remedies now cost more than the minimum wage*,” the association said in a statement on Saturday. Prices of antibiotics, paediatric medicines, and medication for diabetics have become unaffordable. For example, Piramal used for diabetics, now costs SDG725 (0,0019) for a month’s supply.

The Pharmacist Association highlighted that foreign currency shortages, inflation, and government policies have “caused a hindrance in health care due to the interruption of the medicine supply, which has led to shortages and high prices.

Local manufacturing covers 30 per cent of Sudan’s need for medicine, however, 20 per cent of the Sudanese pharmaceutical industry was losing money because of the import of raw materials in foreign currency that had to be bought on the parallel market, the increased costs of production due to the lack of electricity and the use of expensive diesel they are forced to buy from private dealers for private power generators, along with the increase in salaries in the country.

In April 2020, the Sudanese Ministry of Finance raised the statutory minimum wage from SDG 425 to SDG 3,000. Research conducted by the Sudanese Professionals Association in that year stated that the monthly cost of living for a family of five people is about SDG 15,218 ($340). This amount only covers the basic necessities.