Hassan Vows Immediate Measures to Control Medications Monopoly, Smuggling
Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan resumed his inspection tour of pharmacists and medication warehouses on Friday amid a shortage in medicine supply and reports they are being monopolized and smuggled outside Lebanon.
“As a result of the raids we made, we found out that there is discretion and monopolization of certain medication brands only limited to some pharmacies,” Hassan said inspecting warehouses in the Baabda district.
He stressed saying that “immediate measures will be taken against anyone who tampers with people's health.”
On Thursday, Hassan made the same inspection in Zahle district and other Bekaa areas where some of the pharmacies and depots were ordered to be sealed with red wax by Bekaa Attorney General Munif Barakat.
Hassan assured that all needed measures to distribute medications equally among Lebanese regions will be taken, mainly the ones subsidized by the Central Bank of Lebanon.
The Central Bank plans to cut subsidies on main commodities including medicines, wheat and fuel over a depreciation foreign reserves.
Pharmaceutical “mafia” started monopolizing large amounts of drugs amid the shortage.
The decision sparked outcry among Lebanese already reeling from an economic crisis and a devastating Beirut port explosion sending many into poverty.