Medical Shortage Forces Lebanese To Purchase Basic Drugs From Turkey

The soaring shortage in medicines has forced many Lebanese citizens to travel to Turkey to stock up on vital drugs for family and friends, health experts say. With the economy in shambles, pharmacies are struggling to bring even the most basic medicines.

Ahmed Musbah, 80, has just returned back home after a week-long trip to Turkey to buy more than three dozen packets of medicine for relatives.

He told: “I bought my own medications that have been out of stock for over three months. Meanwhile, when relatives knew I was in Istanbul, they asked me to buy them medicines too. The shortages (in Lebanon) are dramatic and unbearable.

Musbah added that he had visited up to 8 Turkish pharmacies, and surprisingly, in each met at least 2 to 3 fellow Lebanese visitors purchasing medical products.

According to a report published by ACT Alliance, the pharmaceutical sector is struggling to meet the very basic needs after the central bank announced that it would be unable to meet the costs of subsidized medicines.

Businesswoman Hala Walid said to Arab News that she had made at least 3 visits to Turkey in the past two months to bring medical products.

Every visit I buy loads of medication for friends knowing how scarce it has become. One cannot even find simple medicines such as paracetamol, aspirin, Flagyl, or Nexium at Lebanese pharmacies,” she added.

Frankly, Lebanon, which was one day described as Switzerland of the region, is moving towards chaos. After 20 months of suffering, the Lebanese are lacking the very basic needs — from spare parts for cars to medicine.

It’s noteworthy that filmmakers are finding it hard to work in Lebanon amid growing fears of a second explosion, or economic collapse. Most if not all of them are filming in Turkey. The famous Lebanese series “Arous Beirut 2” was filmed in Turkey. Likewise, the crew of “Al-Helwa Wl Mora” are currently filming in Istanbul. If this shows anything, it is that Lebanon is losing its cultural position in the world as well. It’s no longer a safe place to live or work in.

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