Foreign medications permitted for import, but currency exchange keeps prices high

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The photo shows foreign medications at a pharmacy outlet.

The prices of medicine are still rising at double the previous rates, depending on foreign exchange fluctuations, according to end-users.
“Medicines and medical supplies are imported from abroad with dollars, so they are being resold based on currency fluctuations. Some medicines cannot be found on the market. The rate is double when we buy them, making it difficult to resell. Buying and selling is challenging because the prices change in the morning and the evening,” explained Ko Naing Min Than, a medicine retailer, in an interview with The Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).
Approximately 80 per cent of the medicines used in the country are imported from abroad, and some of their costs have doubled compared to last year.
“After the medicine prices rise, they don’t come back down. The cost of medicine for heart disease and chronic conditions is becoming unaffordable,” said Daw Tin Win, a resident of Yankin Township, in a statement to the GNLM.
From 1 to 31 October, a total of over 2,000 tonnes of medicines, valued at US$28.242 million, were imported from 26 countries.
The medicine price is still rising at twice than the previous price depending on the foreign exchange although the respective authorities allow the importation of medicines from abroad, according to the end-users.
“Medicines and medical supplies are imported from abroad by dollars, so those are being resold depending on the fluctuation of the currency. Some medicines cannot be found on the market. The rate is double when we buy back, so it is difficult to resell. It is not easy to buy and sell because the price changes in the morning and the evening,” Ko Naing Min Than, a medicine retailer, told the GNLM.
About 80 per cent of the medicines used in the country are imported from abroad and some costs are twice the price of the last year.
“After the medicine prices go up, they won’t come back down again. The cost of medicine for heart disease and chronic diseases is unspeakable,” the GNLM quoted Daw Tin Win, a resident of Yankin Township, as saying.
From 1 to 31 October, a total of over 2,000 tonnes of medicines valued at US$28.242 million were imported from 26 countries. — TWA/MKKS

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