Thirty-eight pharmaceutical drugs that have no alternatives were missing from shelves in January 2017, compared to 40 missing varieties in December 2016, according to a bulletin recently issued by the Health Ministry.
Al-Mary Al-Youm obtained the list of drugs that were out of stock in pharmacies in January. This shortage has been ongoing as pharmaeutical companies suspended productionb until the health minister responds to a demand to increase prices.
The minister issued a decision on January 12 to raise the prices of over 3,000 drugs and promised to provide the out-of-stock varities the following week.
The varieties included drugs used to treat chronic diseases, like diabetes, liver cancer, hemophilia, angina, and other non-basic drugs such as contraceptives, anesthetics, and some antibiotics.
The bulletin included 260 missing drugs that have alternatives and can be used after consulting a doctor. In December 2016, 221 varieties with alternatives were missing from the market, including medicines used to treat colds, stomach ulcers, cancer, headaches, irritable bowels, drugs to reduce bleeding, and some antibiotics.
Adviser to the Minister of Health for Pharmaceutical Affairs, Faten Abdel Aziz, expects this shortage of some medicines on the market to be solved within two to three weeks, after pharmaeutical companies start producing drugs in accordance to new prices.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm