Morocco pharmacists protest Covid-19 health crisis, amid ministry denials of drug shortages
Moroccan pharmacists headed to chemists donning black armbands on Monday in protest against the ministry of health’s apparent disregard for shortages of medicine amid the kingdom's Covid-19 crisis.
The Confederation of Moroccan Pharmacists Syndicates had previously told Moroccan media that pharmacies are witnessing a severe shortage of Vitamin C, Dolbran, Paracetamol, and some medicines for coughs and colds, in addition to medicines for children, which have been used by Covid-19 patients.
This has led pharmacists to protest the health crisis.
“Closing the doors of the ministry of health to pharmacists, freezing all reform workshops for the pharmacy sector... disregarding the health of citizens through the permanent and unjustified interruption of medicines are the reasons behind our strike," said the pharmacists' group in a published statement.
The pharmacists' confederation declined to speak to The New Arab, describing the issue as a "national matter".
A source at a pharmacy in the capital Rabat confirmed to The New Arab about the reported drug shortages.
"Sometimes we feel ashamed of disappointing a client asking for a certain drug, it's a hard situation for everyone," the source said.
Morocco's health ministry and the Moroccan Federation for the Pharmaceutical Industry and Innovation have denied the pharmacists' statements, saying that Morocco’s was well-stocked with drugs used to treat Covid-19 symptoms - including chloroquine, erythromycin, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D and paracetamol - and there are enough supplies to cover the population's needs.
The ministry described the pharmacists' statement as "fake news that aim to create panic and confusion among the citizens".
Morocco has seen more than 1 million cases of Covid-19 resulting in almost 15,000 deaths, seeing a surge in cases recently following the outbreak of the Omicron variant.