Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Generic medicine shortage causing hardship for many

From the Weekend Post (South Africa):
A crippling shortage of generic medicine in the Eastern and Southern Cape is a bitter pill for consumers to swallow, with many now having to pay up to 2000 per cent more for original medication that would normally have cost a fraction of the price.

National pharmaceutical companies and generic medicine manufacturers say the shortage has come in the wake of the Beijing Olympics and the subsequent Paralympics.

China, the largest producer of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals in the world, temporarily stopped chemical production in Beijing during the build-up to the Games.

According to the department of trade and industry, South Africa imports nearly 100% of its raw pharmaceutical ingredients from China.

The production halt, which lasted more than a month, has caused havoc for pharmacists in the Eastern and Southern Cape, who‘ve had to bear the brunt of patients‘ frustration. ...more

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