The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) on Friday, with the approval of the federal government, announced up to 15 per cent hike in the prices of medicines, apart from life-saving drugs.
According to a notification by Drap, available with DawnNewsTV, nine per cent hike has been approved in the prices of life-saving drugs, whereas a 15pc hike was approved in the prices of all other medicines.
"The revised maximum retail prices shall be printed on the label in the manner prescribed by the Drugs [Labelling and Packaging] Rules, 1986 and the manufacturers and importers of drugs shall furnish calculations of revised maximum retail price of drugs to the Division of Costing and Pricing of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan before affecting the increase," adds the notification.
The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) Chairperson Zahid Saeed said that the drug manufacturing companies have been demanding 40pc increase in the prices of medicines.
He said that the increase was inevitable because of the increase in dollar's value, adding that PPMA was reviewing the contents of the notification.
Last year, a three-judge Supreme Court bench had taken up a suo motu notice about the increase in prices of drugs. In August, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had directed Drap to decide within 10 weeks all pending cases of pharmaceutical companies regarding medicine prices.
He had said the existing prices of all medicines would remain frozen till a decision on the cases. While rejecting a petition moved by one of the drug importers challenging the Drap policy, he observed that the court had no jurisdiction to interfere in policy matters of the government.