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Pharmacists' decision to strike 'negatively affects patients,' caretaker health minister says

Pharmacists' decision to strike 'negatively affects patients,' caretaker health minister says

The outgoing Minister of Health Firass Abiad. (Credit: Dalati and Nohra)

BEIRUT — Caretaker Health Minister Firass Abiad on Monday criticized the pharmacy strike set to take place Tuesday, saying that this kind of practice “has a negative impact on sick people.”

Here’s what we know:

    • Strike action in the health sector “has a negative impact on patients, who need us to stand by their side,” the minister said in a press release. He indicated that this kind of practice does not correspond “to the obligations of health professionals” and called on drug importers and pharmacy owners to “reach out” to the authorities in order to find “solutions that alleviate the repercussions of the financial crisis.”

    • Abiad also stressed that the “acute instability” in Lebanon’s financial situation is one of the main causes of the crisis in the health sector. He recalled that his ministry is making significant efforts to ensure the continuation of subsidies for a large number of drugs. Subsidies on locally manufactured drugs remain in place, but were lifted on imported generic versions of these drugs. Chronic diseases medications, however, are still partially subsidized by Banque du Liban.

    • Abiad also announced the publication of updated prices for many products “in the coming days.”

    • On Sunday, the Syndicate of Pharmacy Owners in Lebanon announced a one-day strike on Tuesday, May 24, as well as the organization of a sit-in in front of the Health Ministry to denounce medical supply stock shortages and demand price increases. In a statement, pharmacy owners denounced the suspension of drug deliveries and called for weekly pricing of pharmaceutical products.


BEIRUT — Caretaker Health Minister Firass Abiad on Monday criticized the pharmacy strike set to take place Tuesday, saying that this kind of practice “has a negative impact on sick people.”Here’s what we know:    • Strike action in the health sector “has a negative impact on patients, who need us to stand by their side,” the minister said in a press release. He indicated...