By OLIVER SAMBOKO
GOVERNMENT should take keen interest and ensure that there is no cartel in the pricing of essential drugs that have skyrocketed beyond the reach of many Zambians, the Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has said.
ZACA Executive Secretary Juba Sakala also said in an interview the government should ensure that it procures enough drugs for the hospitals so that businesses involved in selling of medicines do not take advantage of the high demand for over the counter medicines.
“If there is a cartel involved in the overpricing of essential drugs on the market which is leading to skyrocketing of prices beyond the reach of most Zambians, government should come in and dismantle it,” he said.
Mr Sakala warned that failure by Government to take steps now to prevent people from dying because they cannot afford the cost of medication, will have a negative effect on the health of citizens.
“Government should not sit and watch until people start dying because they cannot afford the cost of drugs which is now beyond the reach of many,” he said.
Mr Sakala also said the government should stock enough medicines in hospitals to lessen the burden of the sick who have to rely on buying drugs from chemists because of the shortage in public health institutions.
“This problem can be solved if Government procures enough drugs for the public hospitals,” he said.
Mr Sakala said Government should take keen interest and ensure that those dealing in essential medicines, price their products reasonably and not the current situation where people are being exploited.