Posted on February 29, 2020

Pharmacies in Qatar have received a notice against manipulating the prices of infection preventive supplies such as masks, antiseptics, sterilizers and temperature measuring devices.

In the notice, the Ministry of Public Health stressed the need for commitment to maintain sufficient stock of medical supplies and devices (masks, antiseptics, sterilizers, and temperature measuring devices) for consumption in the local market by not selling large quantities to individuals that exceed personal use. The Ministry added that it important that pharmacies must sell all items at the specified price and not try to exploit the current conditions and sell at a higher price. It added that in case of non-compliance with what was stated in this notice, administrative and legal measures will be taken against violators.

When The Peninsula toured some pharmacies, we saw that most of them had no stock of regular masks while they had the N95 masks, which were priced at QR 85-100 for a pack of 10 mask. One of the staff at a leading pharmacy said that when the virus started spreading globally almost a month back, some expats bought regular masks and send to their families back home as it was on short supply in their home countries. "Regular masks were almost sold out about three weeks back itself. And a few pharmacies that had stock were trying to sell them at higher prices. Meanwhile, there has been no price hike on N95 masks which are the costlier ones," he added.

source: The Peninsula