Parliamentary Secretary for NHS Nausheen Hamid informed NA that pharmaceutical companies have agreed not to increase prices of medicines amidst COVID-19 challenge.
Pharmaceuticals companies agreed the price will not be increased in the middle of coronavirus pandemic, Nausheen Hamid the Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services revealed in the National Assembly of Pakistan on Tuesday.
A mandatory action will be taken if regulatory authority sees any hike in medicine prices before September 2020.
DRAP allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase prices by 10 percent
The confirmation by NHS came in the backdrop of the news that Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase prices of their lifesaving drugs by up to 7 percent and other drugs by up to 10 percent.
A notification is also issued on the decision made by DRAP. The price escalation came after the introduction of an amendment in Drug Pricing Policy 2018. The alteration allowed pharmaceuticals companies to increase the prices of their medicines by up to 10 percent. The decision to raise drug prices came out from DRAP is in the light of Consumer Price Index (CPI).
However, the pharmaceutical companies need permission from the government and relevant departments in order to increase the price by up to 10 percent.
Justification from pharmaceutical companies will be required in order to increase in maximum retail price (MRP) of medicine as well as a signature from the company’s Chief Executive Officer to Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.
Further in the notification, it is also mentioned that DRAP will not entertain a revision in price from pharmaceutical companies or importers if a company is unable to provide evidence.
After verifying the evidence provided by pharmaceutical companies, the government will approve the pricing method within 30 days. However, if the company did not receive any word from DRAP then automatically after 30 days the company can increase the price by itself.
Currently the price hike is put on hold till the end of September this year.