ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Fina­n­­ce on Wednesday gave a go-head to pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of painkiller, para­cetamol, by over 25 per cent, after which one of the multinational companies announced resumption of Panadol.

The approval was given at a meeting, which was chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and attended by heads of pharmaceutical companies involved in the production of paracetamol products.

Because of the decision price of plain paracetamol has been increased by 25.67pc, paracetamol extra has been increased by 25.57pc and price of syrup has been increased by 12.21pc.

After the meeting, a multinational company Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) announced to resume production of painkiller Panadol.

Manufacturers say step taken due to surge in raw material prices

While a number of multinational pharmaceutical companies have left Pakistan during last two decades due to un-viability of continuing business, GSK which has almost 80pc share of paracetamol had also warned that it was also considering packing as situation had gone beyond its control.

The letter of the company GSK, sent to Prime Minister Office and available with Dawn, stated that a number of times it had been informed regarding the critical issue of extraordinary and rapid increase in paracetamol (raw material) prices in Pakistan, and the company had appealed to the federal government to accord approvals for the adjustments to the selling prices of the paracetamol-based medicines.

On Wednesday Mr Dar held a meeting with heads of pharmaceutical companies involved in the production of paracetamol products.

According to a statement, the meeting reviewed the maximum retail price and shortage of paracetamol products in the country and discussed modalities for smooth supply and availability of paracetamol products in the markets on affordable rate.

While the companies had demanded increase in the price of plain paracetamol from Rs1.87 to Rs2.67, the ministry allowed the rise up to Rs2.35. The price of each tablet of Paracetamol Extra was Rs2.19 and companies had demanded to increase it by Rs3.32 but the ministry agreed to increase it to Rs2.75 for each tablet.

The price of each bottle of Paracetamol liquid has been increased from Rs104.8 to Rs117.6.

Ex-chairman of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Qazi Mansoor Dilawar told Dawn the prices were increased due to increase in prices of raw material. “It is a positive decision and will provide a little relief to some pharmaceutical companies which have been dealing in paracetamol,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2022

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