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Thursday Apr 04 2019

Health Ministry to take action against unauthorised increase in medicine prices

A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in this picture illustration taken in Ljubljana, September 18, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination on Wednesday said it will take strict action against unauthorised increase in prices of medicines by pharmaceutical companies.

According to a Health Ministry official, the decision was made by Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) on receiving some complaints that unscrupulous elements in pharma industry have increased prices of their drugs over and above approved maximum retail prices (MRPs) by the federal government.

The official added, DRAP had allowed only nine per cent MRPs increase in hardship category and 15 per cent MRPs increase of medicines determined under Drug Pricing Policy, 2018 for drugs other than those specified in clause (a).

The official further said the authority has advised to monitor MRPs in the market and ensure that MRPs of drugs were not higher than the prices notified in a notification issued by DRAP.

In case of stocks available in the retail shops or manufactured or imported prior to issuance of SROs must be sold at previous MRPs printed on the label in the manner prescribed by the Drugs (Labeling and Packing) Rules, 1986 while stickers or cuttings are not allowed, he added.

As per the order, in case of non-compliance, legal action will be taken against violations under the Drugs Act, 1976, DRAP Act 2012 and other framed rules.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Aamir Mehmood Kiani has ordered a countrywide crackdown against pharmaceutical companies on increasing the prices of medicines against the approved prices of the federal government.

The minister said the government had approved maximum retail price of 889 medicines with an increase of up to nine per cent. Kiani added the ministry would not allow anyone to increase over and above approved maximum retail price by the federal government.

He said the pharma industry was bound to increase prices to nine per cent as approved by the government and warned that stern action will be taken against the illegal price increase.

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