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Commerce Ministry gives pharmaceuticals 7-day ultimatum

Some of the representatives at the meeting

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The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has given a seven-day ultimatum to non-Liberian owners and operators of pharmaceuticals to present their Articles of Incorporation, or face the law.
The concerned business entities are to also present financial statements for the Year ended, 2019.

According to a press release, the essence of the decision is to determine the nature of Liberian participation in such sector as enshrined in the Liberianization Policy.
The operation of pharmaceuticals is exclusively set aside for Liberian citizens under the Liberianization Policy.

The instructions were given by the Commerce Ministry over the weekend during a meeting with owners and operators of pharmaceuticals in the country.

The meeting with the pharmaceuticals was the result of increasing reports of hike in the prices of essential drugs on the Liberian market in the wake of the Corona Virus crisis.
The Ministry said it was disappointing to note that owners /operators of pharmaceuticals could be taking advantage of the prevailing health crisis in the country to inflict prices of essential drugs.

‘We want all of you to realize that whenever the operating environment is not stable or friendly as with the current Corona Virus crisis, it also affects your respective businesses.”
The Ministry noted further that arbitrary rise in the prices of essential commodities on the local market could suggest that those involved are not concerned about the wellbeing of consumers but profit making, only.

The Commerce Ministry said there was no justification for people to increase prices of essential products on the local market at such a critical time in the country’s history, as the cost of the products being hiked were brought in prior to the health crisis.

For their part, three representatives of the cited pharmacies acknowledged the Commerce Ministry’s concerns about hike of the prices of essential drugs on the Liberian market and agreed to do some down ward adjustment.

Speaking further, they said considering the many years some of them have stayed in the country, they consider themselves as Liberians and pledged to be part of national efforts to keep the business sectors friendly through constructive activities.
The representatives from the cited pharmaceuticals also hailed the Liberian Government for always ensuring that the business environment is friendly.

They also vowed to pass the message on to their colleagues who did not attend the Friday, April 3, 2020 Meeting with the Commerce Ministry, relative to the need not to take advantage of the Corona Virus crisis to step up prices through arbitrary means.

At the same time, they spoke about challenges being experienced as a result of the Corona Virus crisis across the world, saying that countries where some of their goods usually come from, including India, China and Europe are now locked down.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Abeer, BUNTY, Sonia, Lucky, Sheer Krishna and NAND Pharmacies as well as Pharmaceutical Inc. Press Release

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