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‘PTI Worst Thing To Happen To Pakistan’: Medicine Sale Prices Highest In 40 Years

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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is struggling to bring under control Pakistan’s economic crisis as sale prices of medicines have soared to highest in 40 years.

Inflation hit 9.41 percent last Monday, a five-year high. Petrol prices were increased by Rs6 per litre amid severe backlash faced by the ruling PTI. The prices of light diesel and kerosene oil increased by Rs3 per litre each, while high-speed diesel soared to Rs117.43.

According to a story published in Jang, this is the first time in 40 years that a government has allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase prices of 45,000 different medicines up to 15 percent. The PTI government has also allowed a 200 percent increase in prices of 463 emergency medicine.

Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) claims 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.

Broadcaster Faisal Qureshi called the PTI government ‘the worst thing to happen to Pakistan after Musharraf’.

PTI supporters too feel disappointed due to government policies.

DRAP has also launched a crackdown against pharmaceutical companies involved in unauthorised and illegal hike in prices. DRAP said that no company would be allowed to sell medicines at a rate above proposed by the government.

The regulatory authority has seized stocks of 83 medicines and registered cases against 28 pharmaceutical companies. DRAP took action against firms in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar  and confiscated stocks of 226 medicines belonging to 59 pharma companies.

Minister for Health Aamir Kiani had taken note of medicines being sold at high prices and directed the regulator to act against the pharma companies for illegally increasing the prices.

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Naya Daur