A joint venture company has announced its plans to open a pharmacy in Pyongsong, located in North Korea’s South Pyongan Province.
According to its website, Pyongsu Pharm hopes to be operating the pharmacy by the end of the year. Pyongsu Pharm is a joint project between Swiss group Parazelsus Limited and the Pyongyang Pharmaceutical Factory, run by North Korea’s Ministry of Public Health.
The company has been producing and selling vitamin C, pain relief medication, and various other products in North Korea since 2004. It is currently operating a chain of nine pharmacies in Pyongyang.
The decision to open a pharmacy outside of Pyongyang may be due to Pyongsong’s proximity to the capital, as well as the area’s relatively high purchasing power.
Pyongsong was until recent years the home of North Korea’s largest wholesale market, but this market closed following tightened market restrictions in 2009.
Nevertheless, the city remains the country’s transportation and distribution center, in part due to limited outsider access to Pyongyang.
Major markets in North Korea generally offer illegally imported products from China. Concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of these products are reportedly high among North Korean consumers.