ISLAMABAD: The federal government has approved price hikes as high as 262 per cent of nearly 100 local and imported medicines in Pakistan.
According to a notification issued on Thursday, this change was approved for drugs in the “hardship category” on the recommendation of the Drug Pricing Committee (DPC) under the Drugs Pricing Policy of 2018, said an official of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).
Due to long-term shortages of some lifesaving medicines, the federal cabinet allowed rationalising prices of drugs that had previously been reported to be in short supply.
The previously permitted price hikes of the drugs were insufficient to stopping non-availability and subsequent reselling of such drugs on the black market, along with a lack of control of the quality of drugs obtained outside official channels.
Considering the above-mentioned factors during its 37th, 38th and 39th meetings of the DPC, the body recommended to the federal government increasing the price of these non-available or scarce drugs.
According to the notification, the drugs that have become costlier include those used to treat eye, ear, tooth, mouth, and blood infections, fever, postpartum issues, heart diseases, abdominal and stomach pains, malaria, diabetes, headache, sore throat, flu, skin diseases; as well as certain antibiotics.