An employee works at EIPICO medicine factory on the outskirts of Cairo.
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Nahed Ibrahim has scoured Egypt in vain to find a regular supply of medication to help her mother to recover from a stroke she suffered four months ago, since then the 75-year-old has struggled to follow conversations.A weaker currency has also made it more expensive to import raw materials while the price of finished medicines is fixed by the Health Ministry, forcing manufacturers to stop making some cheap generic medicines to staunch growing financial losses.In December, the ministry's tally showed 189 drugs were in short supply but had available substitutes and a further 43 drugs were in short supply with no substitute.With Egypt importing about 12 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.53 billion) worth of medicines and ingredients, according to Teweila, the crisis has hit the industry hard.The problem compounds a long-running price issue that has already caused a constantly ongoing shortages of certain medicines.The Health Ministry also raised in recent weeks the price of about 30 medicines to encourage manufacturers to make them.
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