A health crisis in the making.
According to Ghassan Al-Amine, head of the order of pharmacists in Lebanon, nearly 50% of medication is now completely out of stock, as reported by Megaphone News.
In an interview with MTV, Al Amine expressed his concern over the limited availability of medical drugs in Lebanon due to import complications caused by the ongoing and worsening dollar crisis.
Medication imported from abroad is paid for in foreign currency which has become scarce and nearly non-existent in the hands of many. To be able to acquire dollars from the black market, business owners are forced to buy them at a high rate due to the devaluation of the Lebanese lira. As a result, essential medication is now missing from pharmacy shelves.
While the Lebanese Central Bank has thus far been able to regulate medicine prices with its subsidy program, this may no longer be the case in 3-months time.
Last month, BDL Governor Riad Salameh announced that once the central bank’s foreign currency reserves are depleted, they will have no choice but to lift subsidies on commodities
like bread, fuel, and medicine.
This was condemned by Al-Amine who warned of lifting subsidies on medical supplies because it would lead to record-high prices.
He also revealed that the many pharmacies have been struggling to sustain themselves under the burden of the economic crisis, with more than 300 pharmacies already closed down.
This is a frightening prospect, to say the least.