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The Pharmaceutical Fund and Supply Agency (PFSA) temporarily stopped supplying medicine to private pharmacies as of September 20, 2018. The Agency previously supplied medicine both to private and public health centers including private pharmacies.
PFSA conducted an investigation on how the medicine it distributes was being used and discovered that the way private pharmacies were conducting business went against what the agency intended, according to Public Relations Director, Adna Bere.
“There is no clear policy stating the Agency must supply medicine to private medical centers or pharmacies,” she said.
“We supplied medicine to private health centers because our charter allows us to circulate our resources after our costs are covered. However, we are seeing that the pharmacies are not working to help people access medication at a fair price, but instead are charging high prices.”
The research also revealed that most of the medicines purchased were sold to these pharmacies, instead of supplying them to public health centers and pharmacies.
Pharmacy owners Capital talked with expressed their concern that the decision will create shortages and inflation of items they usually buy from PFSA.
“I thought this was just the usual 20 day or so summertime pause,” said the owner of a private pharmacy.
The Agency has 19 branches all over the country after adding a second branch in Addis last year. It supplies medicine for 300 hospitals and 3,600 health governmental health centers.
“The ban is temporally and it will be removed,” said Adna.
The Agency did not say when the ban would be lifted.