Published On: Tue, Jan 14th, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

Action demanded against pharma companies violating aw

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ISLAMABAD: The Health Watch on Monday demanded action against pharmaceuticals for increasing prices of thousands of medicines unilaterally and illegally.

Majority of pharma firms increased prices of thousands of drugs on Nov 08, 2013. Later Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) issued a SRO on Nov 27, 2013 allowing a hike of 15 per cent.

However, the SRO permitting drug price hike was issued illegally as the consent of the Chief Executive of the country was mandatory which was ignored.

The said notification was withdrawn on Nov 29 after the intervention of the Prime Minister but many local and multinational companies have not accepted the orders and jacked up prices by 20 to 100 per cent.

Despite hue and cry by the public and statements of the officials concerned no action could be initiated against those violating law and exploiting masses for profits, said Mian Aftab, President of Health Watch.

In a statement issued here today, he said that medical stores across country have confirmed that they see new price tag every time they buy new stocks.

Patients say that some officials of the Ministry for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination is silently backing the drug companies in their own interest ignoring the plight of tens of millions of people who can ill afford costly medicine.

Mian Aftab said that the prices of drugs at home are already more than any neighbouring county and the recent increase will make life difficult for millions using lifesaving and commonly-used medicines.

He informed that Competition Commission was also invoked against the exploitation but to no avail.

Cartels should not be allowed to burden masses to meet their objectives; he said adding that the statements threatening action against those illegally raising prices of drugs are mere eyewash.