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Pharmacists denounce tax hike on medicines, threaten work stoppage

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Jan 20,2018 - Last updated at Jan 21,2018

AMMAN — President of the of the Jordan Pharmacists Association (JPhA) Zeid Kilani has called on the government to cancel the tax increase on medicines by 10 per cent, threatening to close pharmacies and stop the disbursement of medicines in response to the government's "insistence" on imposing the new tax by Sunday. 

“We reject the new tax increase due to its negative effects on the citizens and the health sector,” Kilani told The Jordan Times, stressing “the impossibility of implementing it within the time period granted in accordance with the laws and regulations related to the costs of medicine”.

The remarks came during a press conference held by the JPhA on Saturday, where the union announced its measures against the imposition of the new tax. 

The announcement comes as a result of an emergency meeting held by the JPhA on Friday to discuss the repercussions of the tax hike on medicines, which saw the attendance of trade unions, civil society organisations, political parties and members of the National Assembly.

“We have been trying to stop the implementation of the new tax over the past days by addressing several official bodies and nobody has listened,” Kilani claimed. 

This decision came without a study, transparency or consultation of the health sector, which is ready to provide alternatives and economic solutions instead of harming the citizens pockets and health,he continued, adding that the economic and financial reform measures must be based on the actual causes of the increase in the budget deficit.

In addition, Kilani announced that a committee was formed representing the government and the association to restudy the taxes imposed on drugs. 

 

“The JPhA will hold several meetings to follow up on the issue,” the president announced, noting that “that the taxes will increase the burden on citizens and the sector, and the association is ready to provide alternatives to the issue of increasing taxes.”

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