Government Approves Increase In Prices Of Life-Saving Drugs

In an attempt to end the chronic shortage of lifesaving drugs, the government has decided to increase the prices of 94 medicines which were scarce in the market.

“To address long-term shortage of some key or lifesaving medicines, the federal cabinet has allowed rationalizing prices of drugs that had been reported to be in short supply due to unrealistically low prices,” revealed Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr. Faisal Sultan.

This big step was revealed in the press conference on Tuesday along with Federal Minister for Information Shibli Faraz.

This is to eradicate the sale of drugs in the black market. Dr. Sultan is of the view that if the drugs are made available through legal channels, they will not be sold in the black market at high prices.

These drugs include furosemide injections for emergency use in high blood pressure; acetazolamide tablets for glaucoma; hydralazine tablets for lowering blood pressure and carbamazepine tablets and suspension for epilepsy.

The price of many drugs has also been reduced as revealed by Dr. Sultan as he said: ” The price of Remdesivir, an experimental drug used for the treatment of Covid-19, has, however, been reduced to Rs8,244 from Rs10,873.”

A statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Health after the cabinet meeting approving the maximum retail prices (MRPs)of the medicines. It is important to highlight that these MRPs will remain static till June 30, 2021.

“The decision to allow necessary increases in the prices of such drugs will enable viable manufacture and ready availability of these essential medications to the public, instead of forcing people to purchase medicines of dubious quality at exorbitant black-market prices.”

“Taking these factors into consideration, the Drug Pricing Committee in its 37th, 38th and 39th meetings recommended increases in the prices of these non-available/scarce drugs to the federal government,” read the ministry’s statement.