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LHC suspends govt’s order allowing companies to fix drug prices

The court issued notices to the caretaker government and other respondents, seeking a reply

By APP
February 23, 2024
The Lahore High Court building in Lahore. — LHC website
The Lahore High Court building in Lahore. — LHC website 

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Thursday suspended the operation of a notification permitting pharmaceutical companies to sell medicines not on the National Essential Medicines List (NEML) at self-determined prices.

Justice Shahid Karim passed the orders on a petition filed by a citizen Muhammad Aslam, challenging the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination’s notification about the non-NEML drugs. The court issued notices to the caretaker government and other respondents, seeking a reply. The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the caretaker federal government lacked the authority to make such a decision and expressed concerns about pharmaceutical companies burdening the public with arbitrary prices. The counsel urged the court to invalidate the notification, asserting it was issued unlawfully and requested to suspend it until the final decision of the petition.