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APP
April 8, 2019

Strict action against unauthorised hike in medicines’ prices initiated, says Kiani

Islamabad

A
APP
April 8, 2019

Islamabad : Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Aamir Mehmood Kiani on Sunday said the federal government had taken strict action against pharmaceutical companies for unauthorised increase in the prices of medicines.

Addressing a press conference here, the minister made it clear that some unscrupulous elements in the pharmaceutical industry would not be allowed to increase prices of their drugs over and above the approved maximum retail prices (MRPs) by the federal government.

He said the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had suspended production of 143 medicines of 31 manufacturers due to overpricing in the market.

During the on-going crackdown on unauthorised increase in the prices of medicines, the authority had seized the stocks of 226 medicines of 59 companies, he added.

The minister said the production activities of pharmaceutical units for their overpriced medicines had been stopped till further action as per law.

He said the federal government had approved maximum retail price of 889 medicines with increase upto nine per cent and made it clear that the ministry would not allow anyone to increase over and above the approved maximum retail price.

He said the notification of increase in the prices of some medicines was issued keeping in view the increasing parity in dollar-rupee prices.

He added it was necessary to increase such prices to ensure availability of life saving drugs in the country and to avoid any gap in demand and supply.

He said the matter of purchase of raw material of medicines from other countries was also another reason in official price increase as 80 per cent of raw material was purchased from abroad in dollars.

He said the notification of price increase was issued as per approved policy of the past government and in line with the directions of Supreme Court on the matter.

The minister said the prices of medicines were increased by the government on the basis of Drug Pricing Policy, which was approved by the past government of Pakistan Muslim League-N.

He, however, said the pharmaceutical industry was bound to increase prices by only nine per cent as approved by the government on 889 medicines and warned of stern action on their illegal price increase.

He added that the DRAP had allowed only nine per cent MRPs increase in hardship category and only 15 per cent MRPs increase of medicines determined under the Drug Pricing Policy, 2018 for drugs other than those specified in clause (a).

He said the federal government had issued clear directions to DRAP to take strict action against pharmaceutical companies selling medicines on exorbitant prices.

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