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Expensive medicines

March 12, 2019

Email

JUST a few months ago, local pharmaceuticals stopped the production of life-saving medicines. This comes off as a challenge to the government’s decision regarding the increase in the prices of drugs. This has left consumers feeling nervous.

The pharmaceuticals are also facing challenges as they are not allowed to keep up with the production of medicine at the same scale. The sharp decline in the devaluation of Pakistani currency along with the stringent regulations placed by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan is making the local pharmaceuticals unable to continue at the same rates.

The decrease in competition, however, is beneficial to the general public, and to an extent to the pharmaceutical industry as well. Therefore, having a rate which is feasible for both the industry and the public is a better option. Therefore, such factors should be taken into account before such policies come up the surface.

As far as the multinational companies (MNCs) are concerned, this pricing has also made it quite challenging. The difference here is that the MNCs always come with huge foreign direct investments in Research and Development in numerous areas such as advanced patient-care and innovative therapies. However, in the past couple of year there have been more than ten multinational pharmaceutical companies that closed down operations in Pakistan. We need to provide the industry an environment which is fit for doing business and sustaining it as well.

Kiran Farooq

Karachi

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2019