Medicine importers urged to weather kyat’s woes

A national trade group has urged importers and exporters of medicine and medical equipment to charge fair prices and not interrupt supplies to hospitals, clinics, doctors and patients because of the US dollar’s high exchange rate.

“Our association has no administrative power, so we appeal to importers and exporters of medicine and medical equipment, in the spirit of public service, to continue selling medicine,” said U Zaw Moe Khine, chairman of the Myanmar Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Entrepreneurs’ Association.

The high exchange rate of the US dollar in Myanmar has caused difficulties for some importers and traders in repaying the debts they incurred for medicine at current prices, since they mainly rely on the dollar to purchase medicine, according to the group.

On Thursday, the group appealed to importers and exporters of medicine and medical equipment not to suspend the sale of medicine or increase their prices.

But U Win Myint, a medicine sales representative, said the companies have no choice but to increase their prices because of the rising rate of the dollar compared to the kyat.

“We have increased our prices only a little because we want to supply patients who need them. The prices we charge are based on the value of the dollar,” he said.

The country import 85 to 90 percent of medicine and medical equipments from Thailand, China, India and other neighbouring countries. India is the biggest source. Over 2000 medicines are registered with the Food and Drug Administration, according to the trade group.


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