Pharmaceutical companies in post-revolutionary Egypt are having trouble importing medicines and the materials necessary to produce them, causing a severe shortfall that threatens hundreds of thousands of Egyptians with paralysis or death, according to a United Nations report.
Domestic medicine production is down as much as 50%, according to Makram Mahana, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Industry Section of the Federation of Egyptian Industries. Artificial government pricing and “security deterioration” have led two-thirds of the Egyptians companies that once produced medicines to shut down in recent months, Mahana says.
The father of a 13-year old girl with heart trouble said he had to spend one-third of his $84 monthly salary to procure the drugs necessary to relieve her chest pains and fainting spells.
Hosni Mubarak was not deposed by the Egyptian people or by the army, but by what the novelist Saul Bellow once called the Good Intentions Paving Company. As Walter Russell Mead writes on his blog, even a development as seemingly well-intentioned as the Egyptian revolution has had unforeseen consequences:
“‘Prudence, indeed,’ reads the American Declaration of Independence, ‘will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.’ Even justified revolutions are costly, dangerous and difficult — as Egyptians and others in the Arab world are learning for themselves.”