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DRUGS SYNDICATE WARNED – govt to use price index to protect people

By ADRIAN MWANZA 

GOVERNMENT has teamed up with the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) in using a price index which will give people a universal price of the drugs to stop syndicates deciding on prices, Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo has said.

Ms Masebo expressed concern on reports of some pharmacies taking advantage of patients charging exorbitant prices on drugs.

The minister said, “We have teamed up with the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA)   price index which will give people a universal price of the drugs unlike a situation where syndicates are the ones that decide the price.”

She said that suppliers needed to have integrity and not take advantage of poor people by inflating prices just to make profits.

“I think suppliers should have a conscience and just do the right thing and not take advantage of the situation because there is no price control put in place,” she said.

She also noted that Government cannot impose price controls on the prices of drugs to curb cartels that are taking advantage of the public because the country has a free market economy enabling entities to set their own prices.

Ms Masebo in an interview said that it was difficult for the government to deal with the cartels who were charging exorbitant prices for drugs like insulin and other medicines because the country had a liberalized economy.

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