Jessica Habashi wrote on the MTV website:
A medical and pharmaceutical attack on Syria! At a time when the Lebanese are heading in large numbers to Syria to undergo various kinds of surgeries and various cosmetic procedures, the neighboring country has also become a destination for those searching for cheap medicines.
Bags and suitcases loaded with medicines are what the Lebanese produce after short trips to Syria, and Syrian pharmacists give medicines with “strange, strange” names to Lebanese patients instead of medicines and prescriptions that they either cannot find in Lebanon, or whose prices are astronomical. What do those concerned with this phenomenon think?
The head of the Pharmacists Syndicate, Joe Salloum, confirms that “it is important for us that the patient gets the medicine, but what is more important is that he gets the good and useful medicine,” pointing out, in an interview with the MTV website, that “we are not against medicines from all countries of the world, but these medicines must be Registered in Lebanon and entered legally after ensuring that it meets all necessary conditions, especially in terms of type, composition and quality.”
Speaking about Syrian medicines, Salloum adds: “We do not know their type and quality, and they may be improperly preserved, especially those that the Lebanese carry for long hours, which affects the safety of the patients who will receive them,” stressing the need to protect the health of the Lebanese citizen.
Salloum points out that “the phenomenon of Syrian pharmacies and illegal pharmacies, in addition to Syrians who trade in medicine and citizens’ health, confirms the existence of complete impunity in this sector, and the health security of citizens has become threatened,” placing the responsibility directly on the state, which “must provide good medicine for all citizens.”
But why are medicines manufactured in Syria cheaper than those made locally? Salloum answers: “Lebanon imports the raw materials for making medicine from abroad, and they are no longer subsidized. In addition, the industry bill has become high in the absence of any incentives or facilities for local factories from the state. What is required is an integrated pharmaceutical policy to support the patient and the Lebanese medicine.”
Syria, which some consider, in politics, economics, and security, to be a disease for Lebanon, has today become both the disease, the medicine, and the hospital for one reason… cheap prices! Will the state put an end to the new medical and pharmaceutical exodus?
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