Price of medication in Egypt rises for third time in a month

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The Egyptian Drug Authority has approved a new increase in the prices of some vital items on the drug market, for the third time in less than a month, despite the Pharmaceutical Division confirming that there is no intention to increase drug prices.

Among the drugs included in the new pricing decision is Ketolac, which is used to relieve postoperative pain, and its price will be EGP 25 instead of EGP 18. Also, the price of Septazole for treating sore throats increased from EGP 112 per pack to EGP 140.

The decision included medicine that treats burns, sore throats, and colic in infants, in addition to vitamin D, which is used to treat patients with coronavirus.

Hamada Sharif, deputy head of the Drug Authority, justified the decision to increase the prices of some pharmaceutical items, saying that the government did so to ensure that all vital medicine was available.

Mahmoud Fouad, head of the Egyptian Centre for the Right to Medicine, criticised the successive increase in drug prices since December, saying: “The sales of pharmaceutical companies rose with a noticeable increase during the past year by about EGP 86 billion, compared to EGP 80 billion in 2020,” calling on the Drug Authority to cap corporate profits.

The Drug Authority decided a few days ago to increase the prices of 12 types of children’s milk, and some medicine that there is a severe shortage of. It also raised the prices of 34 vital items last January, some of which are antibiotics and others which are used to treat the coronavirus, colds, liver diseases, tumors and high blood sugar.