Lebanese minister 'prepared to force medicine stocks open'

Contest of wills between importers and government

08 June, 17:47

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, JUNE 8 - Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan on Tuesday said that he was prepared to force the opening of medicine stocks, which have been blocked for weeks by importers while waiting for government subsidies.

    In a Lebanon experiencing its worst crisis in 30 years, there is an ever more dire lack of medicines and healthcare equipment due to the authorities' inability to pay pharmaceutical importers in hard currency.

    Medicine is normally sold in the country at reduced rates thanks to government subsidies.

    In light of the impossibility for the government and the Lebanese central bank to provide the subsidies, Hassan threatened Tuesday to personally "force open the stocks" where pharmaceuticals that arrived in Lebanon weeks ago are being held but which have not been sold to local distributors because Lebanese importers - who purchased them from foreign pharmaceutical companies - have long been waiting to receive reimbursements from the state.

    "We are doing everything in our power to ensure public health," the caretaker minister said. "But the central bank must comply with its promise to provide subsidies." A collective of Lebanese pharmaceutical companies have called a strike for Friday against the lack of medicine.(ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean