Black Market Profits From Citizens’ Miseries Amid Medicine Shortage

A number of medicines, which include those for diabetes, mental illnesses, and epilepsy, have vanished from Karachi’s markets, giving an opportunity to the black market to profit from the citizen’s miseries.

Reportedly, the city’s black market is selling 10 ml vials of insulin 70/30 for an exorbitant price of Rs. 1,800 each, whereas their normal price is Rs. 1,000.

In addition, drugs for mental illnesses and seizures have disappeared, with the epilepsy drug, Tegral, being sold at Rs. 800 against the usual price of Rs. 260. Similarly, another epilepsy medicine, Epival, costs Rs. 1,400 in the black market but it sells at Rs. 1,100 under normal circumstances.

Concurrently, the pharma industry has also inflated over-the-counter (OTC) medicines prices, including those for the common cold, cough, and sore throat. A 150-tablet box of Strepsils now costs Rs. 2,100 as compared to its earlier price of Rs. 1,500.

Meanwhile, patients lament the pharma industry’s one-sided decision to hike up the prices, which is creating difficulties for them amid the growing inflation in the country.

Interestingly, the former Chairman of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, Qazi Mansoor Dilawar, has justified the price hike and stated that the decision had been made in accordance with the policy of the Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) in 2015.

He further said that the prices will witness an increment of 7-10 percent annually in this regard and added that pharmaceutical rates in the black market are completely unjustifiable.

Via Express Tribune

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