Patients face hardship as DRAP hikes drug prices

Patients face hardship as DRAP hikes drug prices

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LAHORE: The prices of medicines have gone drastically up, causing severe hardships to patients at different hospitals, media sources reported.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) in January had notified the increase of up to 15% in the price of medicines across the country with the approval of the federal government.

The authority notified a 9% increase in the retail price of life-saving drugs and 15% in the retail price of other medicines. The increase, in the prices of 898 branded and 123 solid drugs, takes effect from January 1, the notification had said. However, the prices are being tagged by stores themselves and in cases, prices have been increased almost 100 percent.

Sources said medicine companies withheld their stock after increase in prices and released the same medicines after couple of months with excessive rates, showing lack of mechanism on the part of government to regulate the prices effectively.

The DRAP notification said that maximum retail prices of drugs have been increased “under paragraph 12 (8) of the Drug Pricing Policy, 2018”, adding: “Nine per cent over and above the maximum retail prices as determined under hardship category during the year 2018,” read the notification.

DRAP had directed the manufacturers that the revised prices must be printed on labels. “The manufacturers and importers of drugs shall furnish calculations of revised maximum retail prices of drugs to the Division of Costing and Pricing of DRAP before implementing the increase,” it added.

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