Medical universities told to make drugs to cover shortage

North Korea has ordered all medical schools in the country to begin making and selling basic medicines to cover a shortage brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Hyemin Son for RFA Korean.

Drug stocks in the country have dwindled during the pandemic as factories struggle to procure raw materials from China. North Korea and China closed the Sino-Korean border in January 2020 and suspended all trade. Though limited trade between the countries has resumed, a lack of supplies for medicine means that the universities have been pressed into service to help meet demand.

“A pharmacy will be operating at the Pyongsong University of Medicine starting from today,” a source in South Pyongan province, north of the capital Pyongyang, told RFA’s Korean Service on 1 September on condition of anonymity for security reasons. “The pharmacy will sell basic medicines which the university is manufacturing,” she said. “They will sell Korean traditional medicines and new medicines … at a 20% discount from the market price.”
Full report on the Radio Free Asia site