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January 22, 2015

Pharma industry demands 15 percent price raise

Business

January 22, 2015

KARACHI: Pharmaceutical manufacturers on Wednesday sought a 15 percent increase in the prices of generic and branded medicines in order to protect the industry from financial losses.
Saeed Allahwala, chairman of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA), addressing a news conference, said the government should provide a relief to the industry in the upcoming drug pricing policy.
Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has finalised the key highlights of the drugs pricing policy in consultation with the National Health Services.
Allahwala said though the DRAP is willing to factor inflation and currency fluctuation in the drug prices it is not considering price rationalisation for the pharma industry.
“We recommended the DRAP to protect the welfare of patients and drug manufacturers,” he said. “Since the freeze on medicines price rise in 2001, the cost of utility services and transport and other expenses has increased by 300 percent.”
Allahwala said around 100 pharmaceutical factories were closed during the last 15 years and it was feared that more will be closed.
“Almost half a million people are directly linked to this industry. The delay in the price raise will cause further shortage of medicines in the market and the sale of substandard and smuggled medicines will ultimately get a boost, which will endanger the health of millions of patients in the country,” he said.
The PPMA chief brushed aside the myth that medicines are expensive in Pakistan. In fact, 61 percent of top 28 brands are cheaper in Pakistan as compared to India and even Bangladesh.