Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry has warned that more manufacturers may be forced to suspend their production because the federal government has refused to hike the prices of the drugs.
As quoted by the News, an official from the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) stated that the country is likely to experience a severe medicine shortage soon after the federal government rejected the price hike of 35 essential medicines.
Furthermore, he detailed that Panadol’s production already remains suspended as its manufacturer has declared force majeure – unexpected events that prevent a party from fulfilling a contract – and those of the other 34 drugs are expected to follow suit.
Moreover, the Prime Minister and a few ministers have told that they would subsidize paracetamol, however, other federal ministers have claimed that a subsidy is currently not possible keeping in view the economic situation of the country, the PPMA official added.
According to the details, those 34 drugs include various antibiotics, chemotherapy medications, anti-hypertension medicines, several combinations of paracetamol, eye drops, and many other essential medicines.
Officials from the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, Coordination (NHSRC) and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) expressed their concern over the situation and stated that it was the duty of the federal government to ensure that the public has access to essential medicines at reasonable rates.
Besides, top officials from multinational and local pharmaceutical businesses are in talks with the federal government in Islamabad to resolve the pricing issue promptly, the PPMA official revealed.