The federal government has agreed to increase the price of paracetamol, one of the most common over-the-counter painkillers, in a move that will likely avert the shortage of the drug.
The development came during a meeting between Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and heads of major pharmaceutical companies.
The meeting was informed that rising import prices of pharmaceutical raw materials and increasing production costs are increasing the shortage of essential medicines in the market.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, pharmaceutical companies have agreed on a price increase which is almost half of the price increase initially demanded.
Under the agreed pricing, the new price of paracetamol 500mg tablet will be Rs. 2.35, the price of paracetamol extra 500 mg will be Rs. 2.75 and the price of the Syrup will be Rs. 117.6.
|Product||Current Price (Rs.)||Demanded Price (Rs.)||Agreed Price (Rs.)|
It is pertinent to mention here that there has been a shortage of paracetamol in the market since early September. The shortage in the availability of paracetamol was due to a combination of factors that included a surge in demand due to the outbreak of diseases in the aftermath of floods, the dengue outbreak, and a cut in production.
Last month, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Health was informed by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) that pharmaceutical companies want an increase in the price of paracetamol.
GSKCH announces force majeure
On Friday, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare declared a force majeure in the production of paracetamol which the company manufactures under the brand name Panadol.
The company said that it had sent letters to various government stakeholders regarding the critical issue of an extraordinary and rapid increase in paracetamol (raw material) prices in Pakistan.
The company appealed to the federal government “to accord approvals for the adjustments to the selling price(s) of the captioned Panadol range of products, all of which are paracetamol based”.