NEWS

‘Cika’ Outbreak Leads To Eye Drops Shortage

The current outbreak of conjunctivitis in the country had led to a shortage of eye drops in pharmacies. Fiji Pharmaceutical Society vice-president Reenal Chand said this has also led to
30 Mar 2016 11:38
‘Cika’ Outbreak Leads To Eye Drops Shortage
Following the increase in red-eye decease a huge increase in the price of eye-drops have been recorded in pharmacies. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

The current outbreak of conjunctivitis in the country had led to a shortage of eye drops in pharmacies.

Fiji Pharmaceutical Society vice-president Reenal Chand said this has also led to the increase in its prices as well.

“Since the conjunctivitis outbreak began about two weeks ago, the local supply of eye drops have completely depleted,” Mr Chand said.

“Local wholesalers have the benefit of ordering in bulk and at discount shipping costs and are able to keep the cost of medications down but when something has to be specially ordered from overseas, the freight costs are phenomenal. Often the freight can end up costing more than the medication itself because of the nature of priority courier.”

The cost of locally available eye drops procured from local wholesalers usually range from $3 to $7. This, he said was for one particular type which was commonly used at the moment.

“Other eye drops containing different medications and combinations ranged in cost from $10 to $40 depending on the brand and type,” he said.

“Currently the price of the most commonly eye drops range from $10 to $17. This is due to the fact that these eye drops were brought into the country during a public holiday via air freight which was the only way to get the medication into the country within a couple of days.

“Other shipping methods such as sea freight would have been cheaper but it would take up to six weeks to arrive. I’m sure no one could afford to wait that long,” Mr Chand said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health’s national adviser for communicable diseases, Dr Mike Kama, is expected to hold a press conference today to release the number of reported cases of conjunctivitis and the shortage of eye drops in hospitals as well.

 

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback:  aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj



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