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Govt Forces Pharmaceutical Companies To Lower Prices Of 395 Essential Drugs

The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA) has decided to lower prices of 395 essential drugs on Thursday, Dawn reported. The prices were lowered earlier by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) but were not implemented by the pharmaceutical companies.

PPMA Chairman Zahid Saeed said the association had to lower prices of the essential drugs due to pressure from the health ministry. “It is a very painful and challenging decision for the pharmaceutical industry,” Saeed said, adding that the devaluation of Pakistani rupee was making it harder for pharmaceutical companies to do business and they were suffering losses.

He said that the prices of these drugs would remain the same if the dollar remained stable, prices of other utilities remained the same and if the government was able to control inflation. He said the decisions were to be immediately implemented and medicines will be available on reduced costs within 15 days.

“Cost of production of the local pharmaceutical industry has increased manifold since 2018 due to an unprecedented increase in the value of the dollar,” he said.

At the same time, the pharmaceutical industry had voluntarily decided to lower the prices of another 464 medicines by 10-15pc.

Earlier this month, DRAP claimed that prices have been increased with reference to Supreme Court’s directives issued on November 14, 2018.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said that medicines price in Punjab had increased because the federal government proposed it.

“We are making sure that those who cannot afford medicine are given Sehat cards. The prices have been increased by the federal government and we are continuously urging them to review the increase and then upon reduce the prices,” Yasmin said.

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