The Commission imposed a fine of MK750,000 to Pharmalife for excessively pricing 400 ml Romeo hand sanitisers, gloves and facemasks. The Board also made an order to issue a warning to the respondent for failure to furnish the Commission with information as required.
An inspection conducted on 21st March 2020 by the CFTC Secretariat showed that Pharmalife Pharmacy in Lilongwe were charging the following:
1. MK200 per pair for gloves whose benchmark price was MK70 representing an estimate margin of 186%.
2.MK12,000 for 400 ml Romeo Hand sanitisers whose benchmark price was around MK5,000; representing an estimated margin of 140%.
3.MK2,000 for N95 facemasks whose benchmark price was MK750 representing an estimated margin of 166%.
The trader was issued an interim cease and desist order, which required them to provide a written justification for the price which was suspected to be excessive and an infringement of Section 43(1)(g) of the CFTA.
The trader neither formally responded to the interim cease and desist order nor reduced their prices, as confirmed during a follow up inspection conducted on 9th April 2020.