Sunday May 26, 2024

Hike in prices of 94 drugs notified

By Jamila Achakzai
October 29, 2020

Islamabad: Over a month after the federal cabinet's nod, the drug regulator on Wednesday formally increased the prices of 94 medicines, including life-saving ones, from nine per cent to 262 per cent. Pharmaceutical companies were stopped from further increasing prices until next June.

Of these medicines, 68 are made in the country and the rest abroad, showed a notification of the Drug Regulatory Authority. The medicines are for fever, blood infection, malaria, diabetes, heart diseases, flu, abdominal pain, and skin and post-childbirth issues. The federal cabinet had approved an increase in the prices of these medicines on September 22 at the formal request of the national health services ministry over their shortages. According to the ministry, those Hardship Category drugs were in short supply due to 'unrealistically' low prices, while the cabinet approved an increase in their prices on the recommendation of the DRAP Drug Pricing Committee to ensure their availability to patients.

It claimed that the prices of most of those medicines hadn't been increased for almost a decade forcing manufacturers into stopping their production and thus, causing their shortage on the market to the misery of patients.

The ministry said the rules allowed an increase in the Hardship Category drugs if high costs didn't allow their manufacturing. The patients complained about the drug price hike and said it would increase their misery caused by the escalating cost of living, including healthcare.