Health is wealth! It is a most famous proverb and we get to hear it every now and then. Well, this statement is an absolute truth and the real value of health can be asked from a person who doesn’t have it. Unfortunately keeping yourself healthy in Pakistan is a real challenge for common men. Health sector has always been the most ignored by the government and it comes far along in their list of priorities. Super hike in the prices of basic necessities of life leaves no choice for common people to maintain a decent lifestyle. As a result of which we see every second in Pakistan has some of illness for which they have to bear the heavy fees of doctors / consultants and then costly medicines. The rise in the costs of the medicines will simply enhance the problems of already suffering patients around the country.
And now what added to the misery is the circulating news that prices of the drugs is increased by 15 percent. Now this is a huge increase and definitely this news is nothing less than a bomb for middle- lower class. They are ones who will be affected the most by this unhappy news. It is reported that 6 pharma companies have up surged drug rates in Pakistan by fifteen percent. What is more astonishing is that Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan unaware of the matter and there is no approval taken from DRAP. This certainly questions the drug pricing mechanism in Pakistan.
This has spawned a simulated shortage of medicines/drugs in the country. The names of the companies who have increased the prices are as follows;
- Abbott laboratories
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
- Reckitt Benckiser ltd.
The kind of medicines these companies are producing are used for the treatment of pain killers, blood pressure, weakness, cardiac ailments and some special medicines that are being used in the period of pregnancy. Depressing news which we heard is that pharmaceutical companies have retrieved their stocks from the market to update the prices.
Good thing is that the government of Punjab responded to the controversy instantly and ordered the district administrative to prevent the action with the help of regulations. They took quick action against it and the Punjab’s Chief Drug Controller Dr. Zakaur Rahman instructed all drug controllers, deputy drug controllers and drug inspectors to visit the market and comprehend a list of companies which increased the medicine rates and report it to him. Also the shortage and non-availability of required drugs had to be investigated. He exactly said, “You are further directed to probe the issue of non-availability/acute shortage of some potentially required medicines in the market and furnish the list of non-available/less available drugs sold at more than MRPs”.
Whereas one of the most renowned company GlaxoSmithKline generated the letter to wholesalers stating the reasons behind the increased price of the medicines. They informed that the following medicines prices have been increased Actifed P elixir, Actifed DM, Panadol 500mg, Panadol extra, Panadol drops and Panadol CF.
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