ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 8th August, 2016) : The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has taken several steps to control prices of drugs in the market at approved rates. According to an official of Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan's (DRAP) field offices have been advised to be vigilant, conduct market surveys and take actions against the companies if found overcharging of drugs.
He said that Federal Inspector of Drugs have conducted raids on the warehouses of manufacturers and importers and have seized stocks of overpriced drugs of five companies being sold at prices over and above than the prices fixed by the federal government. He said that manufacturing of generic drugs is being encouraged and facilitated, as by and large the generic products are cheaper than the branded drugs. He said that priority and all facilitations are being given to the manufacturers of generic drugs and to make their investment fruitful in the shortest possible time.
For that purpose, meetings of the various boards are being held frequently, he added. The official said that priority is also being given to grant registration to new licenses or new sections to increase production of drugs which increase competition in the market which in turn results in the reduction of prices of drugs. He said under section 6 of the Drugs Act, 1976, the storage and sale of drugs in the market is regulated by the provincial governments, therefore, DRAP has advised the provincial health authorities to take action under the law against the companies who increase prices of drugs more than approved prices.
He said that during last seven months, some pharmaceutical companies increased prices of their registered drugs without approval of the federal government after managing to obtain restraining orders from Sindh High Court. He said that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan is committed to enhance the capacity building of the pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan, alongwith staff of DRAP. He added to enhance capacity building of pharmaceutical companies, a number of workshops and training were organized in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Pharmacopoeia in major cities of the country.
He said that in March, 2015, with the approval of federal government and Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet, notified a Drug Pricing Policy-2015 wherein prices of medicines have been frozen till July, 2016 except increase allowed under orphan drugs, intravenous infusions and drugs under hardship category which have become non-viable to market.