The Pharmacists Syndicate postponed a scheduled partial protest against the increment of medicine prices after receiving a call from the presidency that informed them their demands are being considered.
The postponement decision came as the syndicate decided to give negotiations between pharmaceutical companies and the government another chance. It was announced during the general assembly arranged by the syndicate on Saturday to review updates of syndicate negotiations with the government over the issue.
The pharmacists were scheduled to begin a three-day partial strike on Sunday which involved closing their pharmacies for six hours a day, before escalating into a full strike thereafter.
The general assembly came after all other efforts made by the syndicate to solve the issue of medication pricing had failed.
The syndicate has been calling on the Health Ministry to limit price hikes, saying that the increased cost of medication will impact citizens; however, their position had mostly been in defence of their profit margins.
The pharmacists are calling on the ministry to demand companies adhere to Decree 499 for 2012 that included a profit margin of 15% for imported medicines and 23% for exported medicines.
Since the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) decision to float the Egyptian pound and the foreign currency shortage, many companies have struggled to import certain types of medicines and certain materials, which had led to a shortage of many imported and locally produced medication.