Raga’i Morsi, president of Luxor’s Pharmacists Union, said that the shortfall in volume of medicine imported into Egypt over the coming year could reach upwards of 90% of desired levels, due to the continued increase in the price of the US dollar.
He added that the market is already suffering from a 15% decrease in imported medicines used specifically to treat eye and liver diseases.
The sector had seen some improvement over the last few months, with some hard-to-find products making their way into the Egyptian market in large amounts. However he added that the country has continued to suffer from a shortage of 300 separate types of medicine, most of which were used to treat diabetes and diseases of the heart and liver.
He added that the province of Luxor was also suffering from shortages in subsidised children’s milk, a crisis he expected to get worse over the coming months.
Morsi attributed these shortages to the scarcity of foreign currency, particularly damaging for the health sector which relies on the import of medicines and other materials from abroad. Additional increases in the cost of electricity, labor and the production of water have also served to exacerbate the problem.
A number of members of Egypt’s Pharmaceuticals Chamber also recently warned that Egypt may soon suffer from shortages of upwards of 2,000 medical and pharmaceutical products. The organisation indentified this as the result of recent increases in production costs for a number of products, and the closing down of many of the country’s factories and facilities. These officials further warned about the potential for price gouging of medical supplies to increase as the country’s foreign currency reserves continue to dry up.