The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has given a seven-day ultimatum to non-Liberian owners and operators of pharmacies to present their Articles of Incorporation, or face the full weight of the law.
The concerned business entities are to also present their financial statements for the Year ended 2019.
The essence of the decision is to determine the nature of Liberian participation in such a sector as enshrined in the Liberianization Policy.
The operation of pharmacies is exclusively set aside for Liberian citizens under the Liberianization Policy.
The instructions were given by the Commerce Ministry over the weekend during a meeting with owners and operators of pharmacies in the country.
The meeting with the pharmacies was the result of increasing reports of hike in the prices of essential drugs on the Liberian market in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.
The Ministry said it was disappointing to note that owners and operators of these pharmacies would be taking advantage of the prevailing health crisis in the country to inflate the prices of essential drugs.
“We want all of you to realize that whenever the operating environment is not stable or friendly as is with the current Coronavirus crisis, it also affects your respective businesses.”
The Ministry noted further that an arbitrary rise in the prices of essential commodities on the local market could suggest that those involved are not concerned about the wellbeing of consumers but profit making, only.
The Commerce Ministry said there was no justification for people to increase prices of essential products on the local market at such a critical time in the country’s history, as the cost of the products being hiked were brought in prior to the health crisis.
In response, three representatives of the cited pharmacies acknowledged the Commerce Ministry’s concerns about hike in the prices of essential drugs on the Liberian market and conceded to make some downward adjustment.
The representatives in separate remarks also hailed the Liberian Government for always ensuring that the business environment is friendly.
They pledged to pass the message on to their colleagues who did not attend the Friday, April 3, 2020 Meeting with the Commerce Ministry.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Abeer, BUNTY, Sonia, Lucky, Sheer Krishna and NAND Pharmacies as well as Pharmaceutical Inc.