Union warns of medicine shortage

KABUL (Tolo News): The union of the pharmacists warned of a shortage of medicine as its imports have dropped due to recent challenges ahead for Afghan traders. The head of the union, Asadullah Kakar, said the recent rulings imposed on imports and the transfer of currency, as well as the blocking of traders’ money in banks, are the main reasons for the reduced medicine in the country.
“The money of the traders is locked in banks. Our products are stopped at the customs,” he said. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) confirmed the decrease of medicine at the markets but said that all health centers are being supported by the foreign organization until the end of the ongoing year. “The medicine and supplies problems are completely solved in more than 2,568 centers—they are supported by UNICEF and WHO,” said Javid Hazhir, a spokesman for the MoPH.
This comes as some drugstore owners said there has been a spike in prices of some important medicines. “Our citizens don’t have money for food but they are forced to even borrow money to buy medicine which costs 3,000 Afs. The price has now increased,” said Mohammad Qassim, a drugstore owner. Based on available figures, around 93 percent of medicine is imported from Pakistan, Iran, India, Turkey and Bangladesh.