US opposes proposed Medical Products and Pharmacy Operations Bill, 2023 |09 September 2023
The United Seychelles has expressed its strong opposition to a proposed bill to ban all pharmacies not owned by a qualified pharmacy from operating.
In total, it is expected that some 30 pharmacies will be adversely affected by the proposed Medical Products and Pharmacy Operations Bill, 2023.
In a press release issued yesterday the United Seychelles stated that the new proposed bill raises significant concerns about the intersection of healthcare and good governance.
The party’s leader, Dr Patrick Herminie, said the bill departs from Seychelles' commitment to free-market principles and potentially encroaches on our equal protection rights under Article 27 of our Constitution.
“To note that many pharmacies are owned not only by businessmen but also practicing Seychellois private doctors. To deny them the right to own and operate a pharmacy is contrary to entrepreneurship and fair competition,” it further added.
The United Seychelles said this shift in policy by the LDS government will greatly affect access to medicine and thus healthcare in many neighbourhoods served by local pharmacies and private clinics.
“We hold the tenet that the market for private pharmacies is far from saturated. If anything, more space would be opened if the government controlled STC desists from running a pharmacy, which after all is not in its mandate,” said Dr Herminie.
The United Seychelles said it acknowledges the need to ensure that quality products are sold at a reasonable price by all pharmacies.
“It is, therefore, proposing that an effective regulatory and monitoring body be set up by government for that purpose. It further proposes that all pharmacies must compulsorily employ a qualified pharmacist. Such a policy will provide ample opportunities to newly qualified Seychellois pharmacists to practice their trade.”
“Noting that not all hospitals are owned by doctors and all airlines by pilots, the United Seychelles is once again calling on government to adopt internationally accepted practices,” Dr Herminie added.
The party concluded by expressing its “perturbation by the erratic decisions recently being taken by a government which is obviously in disarray with no clear ideology”.
Press release from United Seychelles