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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Gov’t raids El Ezaby, confiscates imported meds

Good luck finding the mysterious compound known as “Panadol”: The Consumer Protection Agency raided branches of El Ezaby pharmacies and found 216 “smuggled” medications of “unknown origins” and not registered with Egypt’s Health Ministry, including (household names) Centrum, Panadol, and Glucophage, Al Borsa reported. The agency confiscated the products, which it says pose a health a risk.

Tit-for-tat? Here’s the background: Pharma manufacturers are in disagreement with the Health Ministry, which mandates retail prices for meds — and which has refused to allow the companies to re-price after the float of the EGP, resulting in shortages of key products. Some multinational producers have even threatened to exit their Egyptian operations altogether. El Ezaby’s Ahmed El Ezaby, head of the pharma division of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, joined the conversation, has been among the industry leaders pushing for what he calls “reasonable price hikes,” saying these would help eliminate shortages. On the other side, the CPA has been waging jihad against the (admittedly very real) price gouging instincts of Egyptian traders.

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