Coronavirus: Pharmacies fined for face mask price hike

Dubai officials fine three pharmacies for increasing hand sanitiser and mask prices during Covid-19 outbreak

UAE pharmacies caught profiteering from the coronavirus outbreak by ramping up the prices of basic hygiene products have been fined.

Enforcement officers from Dubai found two businesses in the emirate raised the cost of face masks and another increased the price of hand sanitisers.

Officials from the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection sector of the Dubai Department of Economic Development can now issue a Dh5,000 fine for a first offence.

Repeat offenders can expect to have the fine doubled and face possible closure.

“Businesses should refrain from taking advantage of the present situation to inflate prices of face masks, sanitisers and disinfectants,” a department spokesman said.

“Pharmacies and medical equipment suppliers should demonstrate their social responsibility by reducing the prices of these essential items.”

The three pharmacies in Dubai that were investigated and fined were in Jumeirah, Al Khawaneej and Mirdif.

Consumers can report any concerns over price manipulation to the department via their call centre.