The federal government has ordered a crackdown against pharmaceutical companies that are illegally increasing medicine prices. Minister for National Health Services (NHS), Aamer Mehmood Kiani, ordered an operation against such firms on Wednesday.
“Though the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) deals with the matter, as a government representative, I consider myself responsible for providing relief to the masses and answerable to them. I am personally looking into the matter and would not tolerate an illegal and unauthorized increase in the prices of medicines,” the minister said.
The minister revealed that DRAP had allowed only a few pharmaceutical companies, but other companies took advantage of the situation and that these companies will face strict action.
“I will not spare them, as patients suffer because of it. Moreover, we have decided to introduce an online facility through which people would be able to verify the prices of medicines.”
The government has been facing criticism over the increase in the prices of medicines. The government faced criticism over the medicine price hike.
The NHS ministry has written a letter to the provincial offices of DRAP in this regard.
The ministry has received complaints that some companies have increased the medicine prices above the approved maximum retail prices by the federal government.
The letter advised DRAP officials in provincial offices to monitor the maximum retail price in the market and ensure that it should not be higher than the notified prices.
It stated that on January 10th this year, the federal government had approved an increment in the retail prices of 889 drugs – the companies were allowed to increase as much as 9 percent of the notified rates.
It ordered that the medicine stock imported or manufactured before the date of notification issuance should be sold at old prices.
The ministry has directed DRAP to take legal action against the non-compliers under the Drugs Act, 1976, and the Drap Act, 2012.
The minister also announced to launch an online portal for the public through which people would be able to verify the prices of medicines.