Govt allows pharmaceutical companies to raise medicines prices,the sick suffer

Pukhtun Nama Report

In Pakistan, the Ministry of National Health has allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of medicines, under which the most essential medicines will be sold with seven per cent increase while the non-essential medicines at ten per cent.

Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper quoted a spokesman for the Ministry of Health as saying that the approval for the increase in drug prices was based on the annual schedule of drug prices in line with the policy formulated in 2018

According to the report, by the end of next month, people in Pakistan will be able to buy all medicines at the old prices because the pharmaceutical companies have decided not to raise the prices of medicines in the first three months due to the coronavirus.

Zaka-ur-Rehman, president of the Association of Pharmaceutical Companies in Pakistan, said pharmaceutical companies were facing difficulties due to the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee.

Dawn quoted him as saying that the recent rise in the value of the dollar against the rupee has added to the burden on pharmaceutical companies, but medicines have not become more expensive in Pakistan over the past year.

Earlier in the year, prices of essential medicines and non-essential medicines had gone up by 15 per cent

On the other hand, the general public sees the increase in drug prices as an act of depriving the poor of access to health care, and says that the poor, who were previously devastated by the inflation, will no longer be able to afford medical services in Pakistan.