Dr. Ali Ouf, head of the Pharmaceuticals Division at the Federation of Egyptian Chamber of Commerce (FEDCOC), disclosed that the value of pharmaceutical sales in the parallel market came to roughly 500 million pounds ($29 million) in 2016.
He added that the parallel market includes smuggled and counterfeit drugs which are (of course) unauthorized for use by the Ministry of Health. He warned that Egypt has become a large market for this kind of fake drugs. Ouf claimed that Turkey is the biggest source of contraband drugs into the Egyptian market through “bag merchants”, wholesale dealers and the “Mafia”.
He asserted that the drug smuggling is being done via airports and customs, explaining that medicines in Turkey are cheaper than in Egypt. The head of the Pharmaceuticals Division stated that the drug smuggling activities began during the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. Group members were the first to help the Turkish side in the drug trade by exploiting their political connections.