AHFoZ decries price hikes in pharmacies

By HealthTimes Correspondent

The Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) has expressed concern over the huge increase in the price of drugs at most pharmacies saying this said could only worsen the suffering of patients.

In a statement, AHFoZ, which represents the country’s medical aid societies, said over the past three weeks most pharmacies had increased the price of drugs by between 30 percent and 70 percent.

This had resulted in huge shortfalls for medical aid society members. Some pharmacies, AHFoZ said, were rejecting medical aid cards and insisting on cash payments in United States dollars, while rejecting payment in bond notes or by debit card or Ecocash.

It said it was engaging the Retail Pharmacists’ Association (RPA) over the issue. The RPA had said it was engaging the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to seek an allocation of foreign currency for drug purchases, so that pharmacies could revert to previous prices.

“It is our hope that this problem will be resolved urgently as drugs are crucial for recovering good health. 

“Price increases or demands for cash at the point of service in the current environment, where salaries are not being increased and hard cash is unavailable, can only worsen the suffering of patients,” the statement said.

It said AFHoZ was encouraging medical aid societies to approach individual pharmacies to negotiate contracts with them to alleviate the suffering of their members.

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