The federal government on Saturday allowed upto 10 percent increase in the prices of medicines across the country by introducing amendments to the Drug Pricing Policy, 2018.
Through changes to the policy, the government allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of drugs between the range of 7-10pc.
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) on Friday issued a notification in this regard saying that the companies are allowed to increase the prices of drug — life saving — by 7pc whereas they have the authority to increase prices of other drugs by 10pc.
“The authority shall approve and issue the increase of MRP (market retail price) upto maximum of 10pc, subject to such increase not being more than what has been sought in the application [by the manufacturer], on the existing approved MRP as requested within seven days of submission of application provided that where the DRAP fails to issue the revised price within the mandatory period of seven days, such issuance shall be deemed to have been made upto an extent of 10pc of MRP or the relief sought, whichever is lower,” read the DRAP notification.
However, all of the increases will be subject to government approval.
Moreover, the notice also said “no manufacturers, importer, retailer, hospital, clinic, whole-seller or distributor shall be allowed to affix stickers overlapping or masking the prices.”
“The price increase shall not be applicable on the batches manufactured before affecting the increase … no recall of drugs of already marketed batches shall be allowed,” the DRAP added.
It also warned that “if there are cogent reasons why the MRPG of a drug/biological should not be increased or reduced, the federal government may, by notification for reasons to be recorded, declare a specific category of drugs/biological to be excluded from application.”
The increase comes at a time when the country is under siege from the coronavirus pandemic.