Drug prices rating must stop

EDITOR — It is sad that after the government announced that as a country we a moving from the multi-currency system to the Zimbabwe dollar, the prices of medical drugs seem to continue escalating showing that the rating system is still being applied.
Most of us had hoped that with the coming in of the Zimbabwe dollar prices will be affordable and in line with the salaries that are earned by the majority of Zimbabweans.

But it is sad that with the current pricing of drugs one’s salary is likely to be enough for just one drug. We are also aware that most of the drugs are imported and need foreign currency hence spiralling pricing but government should make sure that it supplies the necessary foreign currency to such essential services.

According to press reports, the Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe (PSZ) have stated that prices of medical drugs will continue to increase as players are struggling to secure enough foreign currency to import medical products. This comes after Health minister Obadiah Moyo on Tuesday told journalists during a post-Cabinet media briefing that government will descend heavily on pharmacies that are overpricing their drugs and continuously charging in US dollars.

PSZ president Portifa Mwendera told the Daily News yesterday that the pricing issue was significantly affecting patients, particularly those suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma and hypertension. He, however, attributed high prices to the currency issues and cost of importation.

Government should have thought about these problems or had a plan before banning the multi-currency system without notice when they knew that this country has for a long time been facing forex shortages.

The idea of the government descending on pharmacies  selling drugs in United States dollars is noble  but not practical as these drugs will now become unavailable to the majority as pharmacies will be forced to sell these to only those that they know and who are able to pay in United States dollars. Government has to build confidence in the masses over the local currency for the  United States rating of drugs to stop.

Government needs to do something otherwise the poor will not be able to survive in this country.

Concerned.

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