The Turkish Association of Pharmacists called a three day nationwide strike (9 August) to protest against government policies.
The Turkish Association of Pharmacists called a three day nationwide strike (9 August) to protest against government policies. The chemists say the policies have resulted in serious shortages of vital pharmaceutical supplies.
SYNOPSIS: There are nearly six thousand five hundred chemist shops in Turkey and they are suffering from a shortage of raw materials and essential d rugs. The situation is reportedly so critical that some people have been advised to pick up polio and diphtheria vaccines in either Cyprus or Beirut.
Some chemists have closed and the chairman of the Association of Pharmacists, Mr. Ibrahim Cetinkaya, has accused the government of being responsible for the shortages. He says the government has approved only seven million dollars (3.5 million pounds) to buy drug ingredients, while twenty times that amount is needed.
The shortages have also led to accusation against the large drug companies. Mr. Cetinkaya said some of them are hoarding their stocks in the hope of the government agreeing to price increases. Three international drug firms have closed down: Squibb, Wyeth and Abbott say they were not able to manufacture enough drugs to make a reasonable profit. And while the arguments continue, patients are turned away without the drugs prescribed for them.
Turkey's Minister of Health has denounced the strike as "irresponsible" and he said it would injured the public.