Caretaker Govt Allows Pharmaceutical Companies to Set Prices of Medicines

The prices of non-essential medications are expected to increase as pharmaceutical companies have been granted authority to regulate prices.

According to reports, a notification has been issued following approval from the federal cabinet, allowing the deregulation of non-essential medicine prices by the Ministry of Health.

Pharmaceutical companies now have the authority to set prices for non-essential medicines; however, it’s important to note that they cannot regulate the prices of medicines listed in the National Essential Medicine List (NEML), which comprises 464 medicines.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) will continue to regulate the prices of life-saving drugs. In a previous meeting, the federal cabinet approved the deregulation of medicines not listed in the NEML on the recommendations of the Ministry of Health.

According to the proposals, prices of medicines other than essential medicines in the national list will be exempted from the Drugs Act of 1976. Furthermore, necessary amendments will be made to the Drug Pricing Policy 2018.

It is important to note that during its meeting on February 2, the federal cabinet approved an increase in the prices of 146 essential life-saving medicines.

During the meeting, the Ministry of National Health Services and DRAP highlighted that citizens can lodge complaints regarding the unavailability of medicines in the market through the Authority’s online portal.

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