The Pharmacist Syndicate will not move forward with the scheduled strike, since the Ministry of Health and Population approved the syndicate’s demands, Mohamed El-Abd, a member in the syndicate, told Daily News Egypt.
The syndicate was scheduled to start a full strike on 12 February, due to the ministry’s negligence of their demands.
Minister of Health Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady has approved all of the syndicate’s demands in a meeting with the head of the syndicate, Mohie Ebeid, and others of its members, as well as with representatives of the parliamentary Health Committee.
The ministry announced, during the meeting, a number of decisions that were part of the syndicate’s demands. Firstly, it obliged companies for one year to withdraw all types of medicine that had expired, without being allowed to set conditions or restrictions on which types of medicine they withdraw. The syndicate had previously been complaining that pharmaceutical companies never take back expired medicines.
It also ordered the activation of Decree 499 for 2012 that included a profit margin of 15% for imported medicines and 23% for exported medicines. A decree the pharmaceutical companies never responded to.
Regarding the medicine price increases, El-Abd said that a delegation in the parliamentary Health Committee will be formed within three to six months, in order to determine the prices of all types of medicine. He added that he expects that a number of medicines prices would decrease.
The demands were finally met after disputes between the ministry and the syndicate continued for several months.
Since the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) decision to float the Egyptian pound and the ensuing foreign currency shortage, many companies have struggled to import certain types of medicines and certain materials, which has led to a shortage in many imported and locally produced medication.