THIS refers to the news ‘Drap wants chemicals names in prescriptions’ (April 19). The latest notification by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) asking doctors to prescribe medicine formulas is a good initiative that should have been implemented ages ago.

It is a good initiative because doctors remember and recommend chemical names of medicines and have difficulty remembering the generic names. The new regulation will end the monopoly of a few international pharmaceutical companies which charge the highest price for their branded medicines.

These companies use extra profits to buy gifts for doctors working in public hospitals which the low-pricing companies cannot do. This results in patients going to public hospitals getting prescribed the most expensive of medicines.

Since most patients in public hospitals are poor, the highest cost of medicines is paid by the poorest of the citizens. This is quite ironic.

By ending the monopoly, it will also provide a level playing field to over 780 local pharmaceutical companies which all manufacture quality medicines at lower prices.

This will help create jobs in these companies and the companies that supply to them.

Shahryar Khan
Peshawar

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2021

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