With Lebanon’s economy in a tailspin and the coronavirus pandemic wreaking chaos, panic-buying has gripped pharmacies, creating shortages and a flourishing black market.
All manner of pharmaceutical products have started disappearing from the shelves in recent weeks, including some of the most widely needed.
Mostly imported, they include any medicine thought to fight symptoms of Covid-19, pills for patients with chronic diseases, baby formula and even vitamin supplements.
One customer, Abbas, 37, said he was giving up as he stepped out of a large Beirut pharmacy.
“I asked for two things,” he said — aspirin and an antibiotic. “I found neither.”