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April 16, 2019

Speakers for ensuring access to quality medicines at affordable prices

Islamabad

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APP
April 16, 2019

Islamabad: Speakers on Monday stressed the need to ensure people access to safe, quality and efficacious medicines at affordable prices in the country.

Speaking at seminar on ‘drug prices in Pakistan: myth and reality,’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), speakers said authorities concerned should also ensure earliest availability of best treatment opportunities for the people.

Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr. Nausheen Hamid said the federal government has taken strict action against pharmaceutical companies for unauthorized increase in the prices of medicines.

She said federal government has issued clear directions to Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to take strict action against pharmaceutical companies selling medicines on exorbitant prices.

She said the authority has recommended registering of cases on overpriced medicines under the Drug Act, besides imposing heavy fines with recovery of overpriced amount. She said cases would be registered against the companies on overpricing for recovery of the overpriced amount.

She said action has also been taken on receiving various complaints that pharmaceutical companies have increased prices of drugs over and above the maximum retail price (MRPs) approved by the federal government.

Chairperson, Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh said concrete measures should be adopted to ensure supply of quality medicines on appropriate prices.

He said there was a need to thoroughly look into the matter of price increase of medicine in the market. He said the government should take strict action against those who were actually involved in overpricing of medicines.

MNA Dr Nisar Ahmed Cheema said there was no mechanism in the country to check the quality of the medicine. He urged to improve the system to properly monitoring the standard of medicines being sold in the markets.

He thanked the Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking notice of price increase of medicines and asked the authorities concerned to properly implement the directions of the PM to maintain prices as per official rates.

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