The government says that patients can now buy drugs directly from the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm). NatPharm is the Health and Child Care Ministry’s drug procurement, warehousing and distribution arm. The drugs are to be sold in local currency to cushion members of the public from exorbitant prices being charged by pharmacies. Most of the pharmacies reportedly accept payments only in foreign currency. Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said
We have instructed Natpharm to order drugs directly for hospitals and private pharmacies. Private pharmacies have been getting some of their insulin and other drugs from Natpharm where they use swipe to pay for them and then demand forex from clients, it is unfair. So we have directed Natpharm to sell directly to the public to avoid this practice.