It's now past 5:00 a.m. April 29 in Saudi Arabia, but we still have no April 28 MERS report from the MOH. Whatever the statistics may be, they're enough to drive a boom in some kinds of medical supplies. Via Arab News: Sales of face masks, vitamins double.
Sales of antibiotics, face masks and vitamins have doubled at local pharmacies because of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in the Kingdom, pharmacists said here on Monday.
Fahad Batterjee, a member of the pharmacies committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said there has been a 100 percent increase in the sales of these items.
He warned about the emergence of a black market for these products.
Siraj Abed, vice president of the Pharmacists Club in Jeddah, said these products are being purchased mostly by the elderly, pregnant women, and people with allergies and asthma.
He said these items usually constitute only 10 percent of a pharmacy’s stock, but have now become the most in-demand products.
Abed said it was unlikely that a black market would be created for these items because they are widely available at pharmacies, retail outlets and local markets.
He said most of these products are produced in Asian countries and have been checked out by the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO).
Bandar Riyad, a sales manager for a pharmaceutical company specializing in preventive medical supplies in Jeddah, confirmed that there has been rising demand from the private and public sectors.
He said there was a shortage of up to 30 percent for some products, but pharmaceutical companies in Saudi Arabia have the capacity to cover any requests.