The cabinet agreed to raise the prices of medicine that costs less than EGP 30 by 20%, said Health Minister Ahmed Emad on Monday.
During a press conference at the Council of Ministers, Emad said the decision to raise the prices means that companies are now required to provide these types of medicine in the market, which had previously been out of stock in many pharmacies.
Emad noted that about 4,000 low-price medicines were unavailable in the market, as producing companies decided to halt their production influenced by the high manufacturing costs and low profit.
Pharmaceutical companies have demanded the government increase the prices of medicine after the devaluation of the pound against the US dollar.
The Pharmaceutical Industry Chamber in the Federation of Industries had warned that keeping the prices of medicine unchanged will lead to more medicine disappearing from the market.
Emad said that several foreign pharmaceutical companies were forced to shut down on the back of the increasing production cost without a matching price increase.
The health minister added that there will be strict controls on companies to prevent the exploitation of the decision, whether through excessive increasing of prices or raising prices of medicine not included in the original decision.
According to data from the Pharmaceutical Industry Chamber, there are 154 factories operating in Egypt and 50 more under construction. The total volume of investment in the sector approaches EGP 45bn.
The total annual sales of medicine in Egypt registered EGP 40bn in 2015, according to data from the chamber.