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Nawaz directs withdrawal of hike in drug prices

Published Nov 29, 2013 08:09pm


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Taking notice of an increase in medicines’ prices, the prime minister on Friday directed to de-notify the 15pc price hike immediately. – File Photo
Taking notice of an increase in medicines’ prices, the prime minister on Friday directed to de-notify the 15pc price hike immediately. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of an increase in drug prices, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday directed to de-notify the price hike immediately, said a spokesperson of the PM House.

The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination on Thursday announced an increase of 15 per cent in prices of all registered medicines. The ministry had said the drug prices had not been raised since 2001.

“The price raise is unacceptable and drugs prices will remain unchanged,” said the spokesman quoting the premier.

He said the increase in prices of medicines had been withdrawn with immediate effect and a notification has been issued in this regard.

The government had been considering to increase the prices following demands from the pharmaceutical industry, which claimed that in absence of a national drug pricing policy, prices of medicines should be increased by at least 18 per cent.

The drug manufacturers have held at least three meetings with the government since Oct 23 and they had largely remained inconclusive.


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Comments (4) Closed

Parvez Nov 29, 2013 09:52pm

This is a classic example of BAD governance. Reacting to something instead of stopping it before it happened.

G.Nabi Nov 30, 2013 03:06am

Nawaz directs this , Nawaz directs that - government is in hurry going nowhere.

Moby Dec 01, 2013 11:31pm

Pakistan has a magical economy, prices can be controlled simply by the PM directing so. I wonder why he has not ordered that everything be made free, that would take care of all economic woes of the country.

Jake Dec 02, 2013 01:28pm

Pretty ridiculous if you know the facts. All input costs have gone up, such as the value of the dollar, the cost of electricity, the cost of labour, etc, yet, price increases havent been given in decades. If one expects quality to be maintained, how will that happen when there are no profits? There aren't NGOs...

If the government actually cares so much, how come the price of services from doctors is still going up? And electricity costs? And food costs?

What's happening in the industry now is that lots of bad companies are opening up making substandard medicine. Secondly, manufacturing of lots of important medicines is being stopped, as it is no longer feasible since the selling cost is lower than the manufacturing cost. Due to this, soon, we will have to import these medicines, causing them to be signfiicantly more expensive, and for the country to lose foreign exchange and jobs.