ESSENTIAL MEDICINES ONLY FOR NOW : PHARMACIES
THE Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe (PSZ) has said it will stop supplying vitamin-based medicines and supplements, which are classified as less important, until the cash crisis in the country normalises.
PSZ spokesperson Mr Sikhumbuzo Mpofu said until the economic situation in the country stabilised, pharmacies would be concentrating on importing and manufacturing essential medicines.
“Less important medicines such as cough syrups, supplements and other vitamin-based medicines will no longer be a priority. We as an association want to ensure that we supply life saving medicines to the nation,” he said.
Mr Mpofu said the country had stopped stocking medicines due to a $29 million debt owed to suppliers.
Questioned about the issue of pharmacies charging in forex Mr Mpofu said: “This thing is just about a week old, our aim is to make sure that medicine is affordable and accessible. That is our mandate. We held an indaba last year with stakeholders and we did touch on this issue, where we predicted such a scenario. It is unfortunate that priority was given to other industries, but we have tried to hold the fort. For some pharmacies, it has been a tall order, raw materials needed in the manufacturing of medicines is expensive and is required in forex.”
Mr Mpofu said some pharmacies had resorted to individually sourcing medicines to remain afloat.
Concerning the issue of paying workers in foreign currency since they were now charging in foreign currency, Mr Mpofu said it was a less important topic, as the issue was only a fortnight old.
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