KARACHI: Local pharmaceutical companies have expressed their reservations over the government policy to allow two sale prices of same drugs, saying it will create serious financial problems for the local pharma industry.
According to sources, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has decided to fix two sale prices of all drugs in the country, one for the inventor company and the other for the companies manufacturing the same drug locally. The inventor companies would be allowed to sell their medicines at a higher rate in the market, and the local pharma companies would be allowed to charge a less price for the same drug.
Representatives of local companies believe the two-price policy would benefit the multinational company the most but it would be very damaging for them financially. They believe the policy would also be damaging for the national economy, as the multinational companies would take their profits to their countries in the form of foreign exchange. The multinational companies would earn more profits but the local companies face losses, the added.
The first comprehensive drug policy in Pakistan was introduced on June 12, 1993. At that time, multinational companies had a whopping 80 per cent share in Pakistani pharma industry, and the local companies had only 20pc share. However, the local industry made good progress in the passing decades and now its share in the local market is 68pc, and multinational has 32pc share. Currently over 600 local pharma companies are operating in the country.
According to sources, currently the total volume of the pharma industry in Pakistan is Rs380 billion, and the government purchases of medicines are not included in it.
Sources said multinational companies would get 15-30 per cent more price of their medicines than the local companies under the new ‘two-price policy’. Out of total 411 inventor brands, 297 are in possession of the multinational companies. Local pharma industry representatives believe the new policy would destroy their businesses and render hundreds of thousands of people attached with the industry jobless. They requested the government to take notice of the situation and save a good industry of Pakistan from destruction.