Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe (PSZ) president Mr Portiphar Muondera explained why some pharmacies are charging in foreign currency.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care chaired by Dr Ruth Labode last Wednesday, Muondera said their foreign suppliers now wanted cash upfront before delivering the medicines as they were owed about US$38 million. He also said Government is not allocating them foreign currency constantly. Said Muondera:
Some suppliers have asked for payment before deliveries and so retailers have been charging for medicine in foreign currency. The charging of products in US dollars has never been a desirable position because it presents some challenges in terms of implementation. Medicines, according to Government, should not be charged in foreign currency. We need to have consistent and predictable allocations of foreign currency to the industry. If we can predict how much is going to come in and consistently, we can manage the situation. We restrict importations to the very basic essentials and just limit importations of other medications. The challenge is we are not getting anything.