Lebanon: crisis, pharmacists across country on strike

'Pharmacies empty and we are nearly unemployed' amidst crisis

18 marzo, 14:36

(ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, MARCH 18 - Following Lebanese nurses, on Thursday Lebanese pharmacists also went on strike to protest against the worrisome lack of medicine supplies as part of the serious economic and financial crisis that Lebanon has been facing for a year and a half.

In recent days the crisis worsened with the value of the local lira dropping even further against the US dollar.

Beirut media said on Thursday morning that most of the pharmacies in Beirut, Tripoli, Sidone, Nabatiye, the Bekaa Valley and Mount Lebanon were on strike.

The order of nurses launched a similar alarm on Wednesday, declaring a "state of emergency" and crossing their arms in protest for some hours.

Dozens of pharmacists also organised a sit-in on Thursday morning in front of the health ministry in Beirut, calling on authorities to adjust their profit margins to compensate for the devaluation of the local lira and to find a solution to the inability of wholesalers to import medicines from abroad paying in hard currency.

"Our pharmacies are empty and we are now nearly unemployed," said one of the protesters cited by the daily L'Orient-Le Jour.

The pharmacists said subsidies provided by the State are insufficient.

Outgoing head of state Hassan Diab in recent days warned the entire political system of the risk of no longer being able to spend resources to keep subsidies active for medicines, flour and other essential goods.


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