Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Sarah Chehadeh reflected the situation in pharmacies after lifting subsidies on infant milk formula for children above one year old. The price of one large pack of milk formula ranges between 160,000 and 200,000 LBP, while the small pack has increased from 20,000 LBP previously, to 80,000 LBP currently.
Pharmacist Litissa Hariri said to SBI: “We have received a limited quantity of milk packs from a distributing company this week, but we were surprised when the salesman informed us that the product is no more subsidized, and prices of this brand have soared around 40 percent.”
“We’ve been struggling for a long time to secure a variety of brands,” she added, stating that customers were shocked by the new prices. This hike in prices have drove some parents, against their will, to purchase milk, which is for 4 years old and above, from the supermarket. “This will affect the infant’s health severely as they will lack the required vitamins and calcium,” Hariri said.
Hariri said that milk formulas for children between six months and 3 years are of high demand, because of their scarcity in the market, especially that the pack is enough for maximum one week.
Hariri has regretted the shortage of some pharmaceuticals in the market. “We are at the front line, and this is putting us in confrontation with customers.” She added that even headache medicine is available in very minor quantities, and the same case for generics, even some children’s vaccines are no longer available.