| - Price of penicillin, which is the most popular flu medicine in North Korea, increased by 10-20%.|
- Decrease in medical aid into North Korea also drove up the medicine price.
A source said on August 21, that price of basic medicines, such as penicillin, AV, glucose, and aspirin, is increasing.
Penicillin, which is the most popular medicine among North Koreans, is generally produced at a factory in Sunchun. The price in the beginning of 2009 was 250 won for 1 million, and 500 won for 2 million. However, as of at the end of August, the price was 300 won for 1 million, and 550-600 won for 2 million. In areas other than Sunchun, the price is up to 500 won for 1 million, and 950-1000 won for 2 million. Near Yeonsun where trade with China is frequent, the medicines are cheaper by 100-200 won than in areas other than Sunchun.
The source stated that there are two reasons for increase of price in medicine. First, North Koreans have more infectious diseases recently because of the food situation. Secondly, there has been a sharp decrease in medical aid into North Korea.
Written by Gwangjung Jo
Translated by Eunjung Park