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ISLAMABAD: Members of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) asked the committee chairman to focus on policies and refrain from micromanagement.

Senator Mian Ateeq Shaikh, the chairman, is in the pharmaceutical business and during two previous meetings of the committee took up the prices of two medicines.

On Wednesday, he once again asked a representative of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) about a medicine that costs Rs25 to produce and is sold for Rs688.

After Drap Pricing Director Amanullah’s response that it was correct, Senator Shaikh asked whether there was a system to check such matters.

But Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq asked why the committee was discussing only two molecules instead of focusing on the policy.

“We should discuss if there is any deficiency in the policy. It does not give a positive impression when we speak about only two molecules,” she remarked.

Other senators agreed and said the committee should discuss policies rather than a molecule or two.

However, the ministry representative said the drug pricing policy was not final and if there were any recommendations it can be given to the ministry for implementation.

Ms Farooq told Dawn that the committee should make efforts to provide relief to the citizens rather than discussing specific issues.

“The job of the committee is to make policies rather than doing micromanagement.

“Moreover, it is wastage of time to see individual cases. Same was the opinion of other committee members,” she said.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018