Medicine prices have risen by at least 20 to 30 per cent in the capital city of Sudan, while specific drugs are scarce in pharmacies.
The price of asthma inhalators has risen from SDG189 ($28.20) to SDG351($52.30). Pills against high blood pressure have become more expensive too, increasing from SDG500 ($74.50) to SDG700 ($104), while the drug is not available in most pharmacies according to patients.
A press statement by the health committee of the Sudanese Communist Party reported that the High Council of Pharmacy and Medicine administration approved the increase of 20 per cent, including on live-saving medicines.
Other medicines that have become more expensive are iron injections for people with renal failure, and psychiatric and neurological medicines have become scarce in pharmacies.
In December, following large civil strikes (named Civil Disobedience) against a package of new austerity measures, pharmacist Samahir Mubarak told news channel Al Jazeera from Khartoum: “The price hikes are not bearable. The prices were high before the hikes and right now it is even worse. It has been 150-300 per cent increases in the prices of medicine in the past month only.”
The budget allocated for medicine in Sudan has been marginal and pharmaceutical companies have to buy foreign currencies in order to pay for their medicines, the pharmacist added.
Mekki El Mograbi, media counselor at the Embassy of Sudan in Washington at the time responded that economic sanctions on Sudan by the United States block these Sudanese companies from buying their medicines, so that they have to buy their stocks from third parties, increasing the drug prices.
An activist who volunteers in one of the awareness-raising campaigns for cholera told Radio Dabanga last week that the reality in the hospitals is very poor, contrary to what the state media says.