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Nawaz directs withdrawal of hike in drug prices

November 29, 2013
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He said the increase in prices of medicines had been withdrawn with immediate effect and a notification has been issued in this regard.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.