ISLAMABAD: The government has agreed to discuss the price increase of medicines with the pharma industry after Prime Minister constituted a committee headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to propose a way forward/report on the price increase request from Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA), an official said on Tuesday.
“On the request from local and multinational pharmaceutical companies functioning in Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted an 18-member committee to discuss the increase in the prices of medicines, review of exiting Drug Pricing Policy 2018 and its amendments”, an official of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS,R&C) told The News.
Medicine manufacturers, both local and multinational companies, are demanding at least a 40 per cent raise in the prices of their products, arguing cost of production of medicines in Pakistan has increased due to rupee devaluation and the rising cost of fuel, transportation and labour has also made the production of medicines “non-profitable” for them.
According to a notification issued by the NHS,R&C, Senator Ishaq Dar would lead the negotiating committee. Other members of the committee from the government side are Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Advisor to Prime Minister on Establishment Ahad Khan Cheema, SAPM on Government Effectiveness Dr Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, Federal Secretary Health Dr Fakhre Alam and Secretary Board of Investment Fareeha Mazhar.
As per terms of reference of the committee, it would propose alternate recommendations to a price increase, review the duty and tariff structure presently applicable on pharmaceuticals finished dosage forms and raw materials, review the existing Drug Pricing Policy 2018 and its amendments, the NHS official said. “The mandate of the committee shall extend to all therapeutic drugs”, he said.