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“Lebanese Debate”

The rate of drug imports in Lebanon decreased by more than 60% from 2018 until today, and this matter generated fear among citizens due to the loss of many medicines on the shelves of pharmacies, in conjunction with the entry of large quantities of smuggled medicines. What are the reasons for the decline in the proportion of drug imports? And what about solutions?!

In this context, the head of the Pharmacists Syndicate in Lebanon, Dr. Joe Salloum, confirmed that “the rate of decline in drug imports exceeded 60% due to many factors, including the lifting of total subsidies on medicines, market instability and importers’ fear of fluctuation of the dollar exchange rate in the parallel market.”

In an interview with the “Lebanese Debate”, Salloum said: “The purchasing power of patients has decreased significantly compared to previous years, in addition to the spread of smuggled medicine in the market by 50%.”

He added, “There is another reason, which is the non-delivery of medicines to importers, because Lebanon is no longer on the first list in the world for importing medicine, as it has declined by a very large percentage.”

What about solutions? Answer: “The medicine sector is like all sectors. The economic situation is linked to the political situation, and the medicine situation is linked to the political situation as a whole. Today, when we see that there is an economic and political improvement, solutions see the light with a comprehensive drug plan accompanied by direct support for the patient.”

Salloum concluded, stressing that “the health of the patient in Lebanon is in danger, as long as there are no medicines, and citizens are unable to secure medicines due to the high prices,” hoping that we will witness comprehensive political stability so that we can reach a radical solution to the medicine crisis.

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