Egypt suffers shortage of contraceptive pills

Egypt has been experiencing shortages in contraceptive pills which started to disappear from pharmacies and moved to the black market, official media sources have reported.

In an interview with OnTV Live, Souad Abdel Magid, the Head of the Department of Population and Family Planning at the Health Ministry, has revealed that the main reason behind the drug disappearance is the decline of the overall medical imports by pharmaceutical companies. They fear that they would not achieve a reasonable profit margin following the Egyptian pound flotation which was decided by the Central Bank last November.

Abdel Magid stressed that the ministry sufficiently offers all types of contraceptive pills through 5,425 government medical centres, 600 governmental hospitals, and 560 mobile clinics.

She added that the contraceptive pills are imported through a yearly public tender, through which the government provides a strategic stock for a full year.

The disappearance of the birth control medicine has raised concerns in a country already experiencing overpopulation, rising fertility rates and a severe economic crisis.

Egyptians have been suffering tough living conditions following the Egyptian pound floatation in November. The move has led to a rise in the prices of imported raw materials used by pharmaceutical companies in the production of drugs, consequently leading companies to demand doubling the prices of medicines on the market to cover the increase in the raw material prices.