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“Sudan runs short on medicines”: pharmacy director

January 22 - 2016 KHARTOUM
A pharmacy in Khartoum (Reuters)
A pharmacy in Khartoum (Reuters)

The plight of medicine supply in Sudan has worsened as competent authorities fail to provide vital medicines and prices have increased, sometimes by up to 100 percent, over the recent period, according to Dr El Nasri Morgos.

The director of Sudan's pharmacy division was interviewed by Radio Dabanga on Thursday on the causes of the worsening “medicine crisis” in Sudan. “The State and Central Bank of Sudan have not fulfulled obligations to provide hard currency to make import of medicines possible, because it does not deem it as a priority.”

Morgos said that poor people cannot afford the medicines that are avaible now. He stressed that the soaring prices threaten Sudan's health situation and exacerbate current living problems.

The recent medicine crisis has contributed to taking about five companies out of business and laying off more than 40 pharmacists, Morgos said. “They all think that the prices of medicines will continue to rise, with the decline of the Sudanese pound against the US Dollar.”

Most of the medicines in Sudan are imported. As an economist explained in December, traders are now allowed to freely import medicines with hard currency bought at the black market. The black market rate of the Sudanese pound to the dollar (SDG11.6) is almost double the official rate.

Many patients in Khartoum complained to Radio Dabanga about the dire medicine shortage and soaring prices. A member of the Association of Private Pharmacies confirmed “a 70 percent increase” of some prices last month.

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