More than 100 essential medicines are not available in pharmacies and hospitals in Egypt ahead of a new increase in the price of medicines at the start of the new year.
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site reported pharmacists as saying that the missing medicines include those used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The pharmacists held the Egyptian government responsible for the lack of availability of necessary treatment adding that a number of medicines are being sold at double the market price on the black market.
Pharmaceutical companies have recently agreed with Health Minister Hala Zayed to increase the price of medicines. No details have been issued regarding what percentage the increase would be.
Pharmacist Ismael Ibrahim told the news site that many medicines had disappeared from the market following the announcement of a new rise in prices in 2019.
He pointed out that many pharmacies and companies are stockpiling drugs in order to sell them at the new high price.
Pharmacist Saeid Mohammed told the news site that the high prices of some drugs have forced many people to buy one or three tablets of certain medications instead of a whole pack.
He warned that if the increase in prices is applied many patients will not be able to access treatment and will be forced to buy cheap alternatives which may aggravate their condition.
Egypt has increased the price of medicines three times over the last three years.