Prices of 395 medicines are being decreased. During the question hour session of the National Assembly here on Friday, the parliamentary secretary told the House that a letter has been written to Auditor General of Pakistan to conduct audit of recent increase in drugs prices. Relied the audit report would be presented before the House for discussion.
Dr Nafisa Shah of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said the question about medicine prices should be referred to the relevant National Assembly standing committee for discussion and investigation. Said to Dr Nafisa “We should believe in the institutions and the committee can discus audit report and if it is not satisfied with it then it can investigate the matter.”
Told the House that the hike in the prices of medicines during the last three years is due to following reasons: depreciation of Pak rupee against US dollar at 26 percent during 2018; increase in prices of raw materials and packaging materials of drugs; increase in manufacturing cost due to rise in cost of utilities i.e. electricity and gas; increase in prices of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in China due to closure of plants on account of environmental reasons; many companies have stopped manufacturing of certain drugs/medicine financially viable which may have resulted in shortness: and multinational companies are retreating and investment opportunities are also being affected.
Drug Pricing Policy-2018 notified on June 06, 2018 has modified provision of annual increase in maximum retail prices with effect from July 1, 2018 as essential drugs 70 percent of CPI (cap of 7 percent) and other than essential and equal to CPI (cap of 10 percent) lower priced drugs.
Replying to a calling attention notice, moved by Rana Tanveer Hussain of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) about non-release of funds for the establishment of Neurosciences Center at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), that there is no need of this big project and the government has not funds for it. She said that the government is focusing on primary healthcare.