‘Pharmaceutical companies in Fiji have a stranglehold’

Superdrug Pharmacy staff member Ilisapeci Radrodro, pharmacist Shayona Maharaj and pharmacy consultant Abhay Nand try out masks available at their pharmacy in Suva. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Pharmaceutical companies and drug-related boards in Fiji have had a stranglehold on the sales of medicines, says Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He made the comments in Parliament on Friday, saying they were looking at liberalization of certain markets.

“I will give you a very classic point. If you go to a supermarket in Australia and New Zealand, you can actually buy Vitamin C at the supermarket. You can buy various vitamin pills, buy it off the shelves,” he said.

‘In Fiji, unfortunately, the pharmaceutical companies and the drug-related boards have had a stranglehold.”

He asked why ordinary people shouldn’t have access to Vitamin C and other vitamins in supermarkets.

“Supermarkets can actually buy them in bulk and they would be a lot cheaper, the unit cost will be a lot cheaper, so the working class person can go and buy Vitamin C.”

‘That is the kind of liberalisation, the kind of structural changes we are doing and we are looking at.”

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