The pharmacists believe that the new Minister of Health has not kept the promises made by his predecessor.
Rabat – The Confederation of Pharmacists’ Unions of Morocco (CSPM) has decided to organize a sit-in on February 10 at the Ministry of Health’s headquarters in Rabat.
Pharmacists are protesting “against the policies of the ministry regarding the pharmacy sector,” explains the CSPM in a press release.
“The recurring negative statements and messages, issued by the Ministry of Health, during this [complicated timing] for the profession, can only be a source of great concern about the future of pharmacies in our country,” adds the document.
The pharmacists regret the suspension of the dialogue between their unions and the ministry. Talks began during the tenure of the former Minister of Health Anas Doukkali.
In December 2018, the health ministry created three committees to examine the complaints of pharmacists; a commission for the study of legal and organizational texts governing the profession, a commission in charge of revising the decree fixing the price of medicines, and a commission for reforming the legal circuit for the distribution of medicines and activating the application of disciplinary sanctions.
“We lost contact with the ministry. The last meeting dates back to July 2019, with the former Minister of Health, during which we reviewed a summary of the committees’ work and set deadlines for the implementation of recommendations,” says Mohamed Lahbabi, the CSPM President.
The union expressed concerns about the fate of the meetings held through 2019, saying that recent statements from the new Minister of Health, Khalid Ait Taleb, convey a deep misunderstanding of the sector.
“Our demands file remained a dead letter. We are not looking to create new committees. We call for the concretization of the former committees’ work,” adds Lahbabi.
The February 10 sit-in is only the first step in a series of protests planned by the pharmacists if Ait Taleb continues to ignore their grievances, concludes the press release, saying that strikes are not excluded.
The list of demands includes integrating influenza vaccinations into the mission of pharmacists, inspecting medication reserves in clinics, and amending several decrees about price-fixing, veterinary drugs, and venomous substances.