Operators of Patent medicine and Pharmaceutical stores in parts Kaduna have attributed the increase in prices of drugs to limited supply due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
Investigations carried out by the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Kaduna revealed that prices of over the counter and prescribed drugs had shot up, while some suppliers complained of low supplies from companies.
Mr Donald Olaniyan of Topic Pharmacy at Television Garage area told NAN that specific drugs including; Azithromycin and Hydrochloroquine had witnessed hike in prices, due to high demand.
“A pack of Hydrochloroquine that sold for about N4,000 is now sold for as much as N35,000 if you ever get to find it,” he said.
Olaniyan explained further that the shut down and restrictions of movement in most part of the country has negatively impacted on the price of the drugs.
“Beside the high demand in certain products including facemasks, hand sanitizers and Hydrochloroquine, there has been poor supply network in the past one week,” he said.
Also, Mrs Sarah Emmanuel who operates a patent medicine store in Barnawa said a card of paracetamol that sold N50 now sold for N70.
Others, according to Mrs Emmanuel, included Artemether, Cirprotab and Quaterm which had witnessed slight increment in prices.
“Artemether, for instance, was sold between N1, 400 to N3,000 depending on the company, is now sold for N2,500 to N5,000, respectively.
“Other items on high demand that witnessed price hike are products like; dettol, disinfectants and hand sanitizers,” she said.
Mr Raphael Ojo of Hosanna Pharmacy in Sabo area, said the closure of the borders and airports affected availability of drugs, which led to rise in prices.
“Some dealers capitalised on the unfortunate situation to hike prices of products, because such items are in high demand,” he said.
Miss Judith Okosun, staff of Worldwide Health Care, a Nigeria-based drug distribution company, told NAN that lack of access to raw material affected local production of drugs in Nigeria, while transportation bottlenecks also contributed in raising the cost of drugs.
“Sometimes, even essential workers with an ID, are harassed by security personnel while on routine supplies to our customers,” she explained.
Meanwhile, a crosssection of residents who spoke with NAN on the development, expressed the hope that normalcy would return after the coronavirus pandemic was over.
Mallam Shamsu Sidi, a parent, called on drug manufacturers as well as dealers to desist from taking undue advantage of emergency situations to exploit the people.
Also, Mrs Jumai Badu, a resident of Ungwan Romi who commended the government over steps taken to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, however, pleaded for intervention in making drugs available in public health centers.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Maharazu Ahmed