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Medicine prices depend on buying power

August 12, 2020 7:25 am
Concerns continue to be raised on the price of medicines and vitamins only being available for sale in pharmacies.

Concerns continue to be raised on the price of medicines and vitamins only being available for sale in pharmacies.

Fiji Pharmaceutical Society President Reenal Chand, says it’s a mixed bag as some medicines which are cheap in Fiji are expensive in other countries.

Chand says prices depend on the buying power of the pharmacies.

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“For example with supplements if you buy in large quantity then you get the normal price however most pharmacies are a small business and we are not able to buy in large quantities.”

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they are looking at some regulatory changes to bring efficiency in the industry.

“So there is a lot of sort of archaic bureaucracy and archaic legislation the Pharmaceutical board and Pharmacy Council at times people run a closed shop so the whole idea is to try and unlock that.”

Sayed-Khaiyum says they are considering ways to liberalize the sale of certain pharmaceutical products.

“For example in Australia now you can’t simply go and buy Panadol because it is used for making other drugs. There were certain drugs which were treated as off the counter drugs but there are restrictions placed on that. But definitely things like vitamins and all of that we believe it should be done and hopefully we should be able to get around that in the next few months.”

The Pharmaceutical Society says Fiji is a small market and doesn’t always enjoy the benefits of bulk buying.

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