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U.S. prevents Cuba from acquiring raw materials for pharmaceutical industry

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HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 27 (ACN) In March, when trying to acquire raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry, in the midst of the fight against COVID-19, Cuba suffered the consequences of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States.
Neyra Muguercia, general director of FarmaCuba, told the newspaper Trabajadores that last month a shipping company returned two containers of raw materials to the port of origin despite the fact that they were already in Havana, as they warned that they would be sanctioned.
It meant the loss of a 30-day crossing (we have also had cases of 60 days), the same period for the return, new arrangements (ours, the suppliers' and the Cuban freight forwarders') to ship them with another shipping company that took 30 more days, she said.
 Muguercia indicated that this results not only in costs, but also in the lack of availability of medicines.
We are talking about long shortages, because the financial situation of FarmaCuba - also compromised by the difficulties the United States is putting up to bring in the money derived from our own exports - hinders guaranteeing the so-called ties in the production cycles, she stressed.
The lack of raw materials makes the industry lose production capacity, and not always able to recover it, however, when certain volumes arrive, the effort they make in the factories is outstanding, they are organized in daily shifts so as not to stop and make up for lost time, although sometimes it is impossible, Muguercia added.
She emphasized this kind of situation has been suffered with the medicines that go to the medical assistance in general (admitted and serious patients), and to the community pharmacy, where people go with a prescription or their card and do not find what they are looking for.
Definitively, the blockade leads to human suffering, since not having access to a medicine directly affects the quality of life and compromises people's health.
In FarmaCuba we have found suppliers who say: "I am looking for your product", and at the moment they write cancelling because the manufacturer cannot sell it if the destination is Cuba. We have evidence of how they pursue our operations, the banks have sent us questionnaires that make us desist from certain operations because they would put the country's financial resources at risk, she warned.
FarmaCuba, an import-export company of the Higher Organization of Business Management of the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries, BioCubaFarma, works with more than 400 foreign suppliers, mostly European.

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