The Commission imposed a fine of MK2 million to Maula Pharmacy Ltd for excessively pricing N95 face masks and also made an order to issue a warning to Maula Pharmacy for failure to furnish CFTC with information as required.
An inspection conducted on 21st March 2020 by the CFTC Secretariat showed that Maula Pharmacy Ltd in Lilongwe were charging MK3,500 for N95 face masks whose benchmark price was around MK750 representing an estimated margin of 367%. The trader was issued an interim cease and desist order, which required them to provide written justification for the price which was suspected to be excessive and an infringement of Section 43(1)(g) of the CFTA.
Maula Pharmacy neither formally responded to the interim cease and desist order nor reduced their prices, as confirmed during a follow up inspection conducted on 16th April 2020.
During an inspection on 16th April 2020, the trader provided false information to the CFTC, claiming that the masks were supplied at a higher price. However, the supplier disputed the claims stating that the items were supplied to Maula Pharmacy at a price of MK750.