What's new

Featured Govt allows rise in prices of 94 life-saving drugs

muhammadhafeezmalik

FULL MEMBER
Jan 21, 2015
247
0
114
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Govt allows rise in prices of 94 life-saving drugs


• Reduces cost of Remdesivir injection
• Approves shutting down of power projects running in losses
• Minister says circular debt in power sector has gone up to Rs2.1tr



ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved increase in prices of 94 life-saving drugs to ensure their availability in the market, and brought down the price of Remdesivir 100mg injection, used in Covid-19 treatment, from Rs10,873 to Rs8,244.


The meeting, which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, took a number of other important decisions related to energy crisis in the country, circular debt in the power sector and the anti-rape bill.


“The cabinet allowed increase in the prices of those drugs which are short in the market as their manufacturers have stopped their production due to losses,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said in a joint press conference with Information Minister Shibli Faraz after the cabinet meeting.


Dr Sultan said prices of most of the 94 drugs had not been increased for a decade due to which manufacturers stopped their production, causing their shortage in the market.


“When these drugs are not available in the market, patients are compelled to use costly smuggled drugs,” the special assistant said.


“For instance, if the price of a drug is Rs10, we have increased it to Rs15. Apparently it is a 50pc increase but we have to save people from buying similar (smuggled) drugs at a cost of Rs300 or above,” he added.


When Dawn asked Dr Sultan why the government believed by increasing prices of items, their availability in the market would be ensured as seen in the case of wheat flour and sugar, he said the government could not ensure availability of life-saving drugs by force because drug manufacturers always employed various methods to stop production if they were pressured to reduce prices.


The cabinet also allowed the import of life-saving drugs as well as anti-cancer and cardiac medicines not registered in Pakistan, exempting them from the ban.


If a company stops manufacturing some medicines, claiming that its production has become non-viable due to high cost of production and raw material, its price can be increased as a special case which is called a ‘hardship case’.


The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) had moved the matter before the federal cabinet after some medicines, including the one used for cataract and by soldiers deployed in Siachen, had become short.


According to an official statement issued by the health ministry, in response to long-term shortages of some key or life-saving medicines, the federal cabinet on Tuesday allowed rationalising prices of drugs that had been reported to be in short supply due to unrealistically low prices.


This change was approved for drugs that fell in the ‘hardship category’ on the recommendation of the Drug Pricing Committee under the Drugs Pricing Policy 2018.


Some of the life-saving drugs whose prices have been allowed to increase include Furosemide injections (for emergency use in high blood pressure), Acetazolamide tablets (glaucoma), Hydralazine tablets (for lowering blood pressure), Carbamazepine tablets and suspension (epilepsy), Atropine Sulphate injection (used in emergencies), Magnesium Sulphate (used to treat seizures due to pre-eclampsia during pregnancy), Hydroxyurea, Daunorubicin, Bleomycin (used in treatment of cancer), Nitroglycerin and Glyceryl Trinitrate (emergency heart medicines) and anti-rabies vaccine.


“As an example, the price of Acetazolamide tablets has been Rs60.45 for a pack of 30 tablets for over a decade, despite increase in the cost of raw material needed to produce this drug in the international market, devaluation of rupee, increase in the price of packaging material and reduced volume of usage compared to the past. What it means is that this drug, which is not commonly used but is nevertheless essential in some clinical situations, has been available only on the black market, at greatly inflated prices,” the health ministry statement said.


An official of the NHS ministry, requesting not to be quoted, said the cabinet also considered the grant of exemption from section 23(1)(a)(VII) of the Drugs Act 1976.


“According to the section no medicine can be sold in Pakistan without its registration with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap). However, with the exemption health facilities or hospitals will be allowed to purchase medicines from the international market and use them for their patients. A Statutory Regulatory Order will be issued so that the medicines would be available under the right to medicine, he said.


 

muhammadhafeezmalik

FULL MEMBER
Jan 21, 2015
247
0
114
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Dr. Sultan said,“For instance, if the price of a drug is Rs10, we have increased it to Rs15. Apparently it is a 50pc increase but we have to save people from buying similar (smuggled) drugs at a cost of Rs300 or above,” Whose responsibility to stop smuggled drugs??
 

Type59

FULL MEMBER
Mar 13, 2008
1,198
0
793
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Dr. Sultan said,“For instance, if the price of a drug is Rs10, we have increased it to Rs15. Apparently it is a 50pc increase but we have to save people from buying similar (smuggled) drugs at a cost of Rs300 or above,” Whose responsibility to stop smuggled drugs??
If clap down on drug smuggling without addressing domestic producers concerns there will shortage of life saving drugs in market.

If products are sold at loss no company will produce.
 

Morpheus

FULL MEMBER
Mar 5, 2017
1,883
-1
3,770
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Interesting. Dawn is reporting price increase, meanwhile all other are reporting price reduction.




@Pan-Islamic-Pakistan @Patriot forever @PakSword
 

Patriot forever

FULL MEMBER
Jun 2, 2020
547
1
949
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Interesting. Dawn is reporting price increase, meanwhile all other are reporting price reduction.




@Pan-Islamic-Pakistan @Patriot forever @PakSword
It depends how one looks at it. I would prefer to use the term 'Rationalize' or 'standardize' the market.
Currently e.g. take a generic drug furosemide a diuretic. In the market it is available by many names depending on the manufacturer both national and international e.g Furosinox or Lasix. The price variation is immense sometimes upto a 100Rs between different companies. Many a times when you write a prescription the patient will come back and say that the medicine is not available and the pharmacist gives the same drug from a different company. In short people are forced to buy more expensive brands, the same medicine which can be made available for less cheaper. Abbott or Sanofi is generally cheaper than GSK, both have very good efficacy.
A patient e.g. with UTI or Gastroenteritis can be treated with either a couple of hundred rupees prescription or a thousand or so.
2ndly alot of times a doctor is forced to write a more expensive imported drug because local drug is short or not available.

I do not know how gov calculates base price for a generic drug because it has always varied considerably among different pharmaceutical companies.

IMO the intention behind this is,
1) Increase the market availability of cheaper counterparts at a marginally increased price, which will still be considerably cheaper than the more expensive options. This will invariably reduce the market share of more expensive counterparts, in turn forcing them to reduce prices to retain their share. Make the market unviable for importers which will increase the overall productivity of local companies.
2) This will improve the capacity of local companies which were forced to reduce production citing economic viability (at least the more affordable ones), this will greatly decrease the influence of hoarding mafias, curbing artificial price manipulation and availability.
3) Allow the companies to raise enough capital or economic viability for local companies to start manufacturing drugs which were previously available in very limited quantity or not at all ( especially gynaecological drugs which we were massively dependent on India for, even for simple conditions as thrush).
 

Dr. Strangelove

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 20, 2011
4,598
7
8,137
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Interesting. Dawn is reporting price increase, meanwhile all other are reporting price reduction.




@Pan-Islamic-Pakistan @Patriot forever @PakSword
R
Interesting. Dawn is reporting price increase, meanwhile all other are reporting price reduction.




@Pan-Islamic-Pakistan @Patriot forever @PakSword
Price of Remdesivir has been Reduced while the Prices of the rest are being increased to encourage Manufacturers to increase Production and ensure availability. Its a Good thing previously Manufacturers used to hike prices on their own without consulting DRAP and GOP During the Early months of 2020 law was amended to Take back this Power From Manufacturers.
 

I S I

ELITE MEMBER
Jan 25, 2015
9,222
-28
14,266
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
When Dawn asked Dr Sultan why the government believed by increasing prices of items, their availability in the market would be ensured as seen in the case of wheat flour and sugar, he said the government could not ensure availability of life-saving drugs by force because drug manufacturers always employed various methods to stop production if they were pressured to reduce prices
wah bc wah
 

I S I

ELITE MEMBER
Jan 25, 2015
9,222
-28
14,266
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Dr. Sultan said,“For instance, if the price of a drug is Rs10, we have increased it to Rs15. Apparently it is a 50pc increase but we have to save people from buying similar (smuggled) drugs at a cost of Rs300 or above,” Whose responsibility to stop smuggled drugs??
noon league's. according to youthians.
 

muhammadhafeezmalik

FULL MEMBER
Jan 21, 2015
247
0
114
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Interesting. Dawn is reporting price increase, meanwhile all other are reporting price reduction.




@Pan-Islamic-Pakistan @Patriot forever @PakSword
Government has reduces the price of only one injection, which is basically a trail version of COVID vaccine, which should have been provided free of cost to volunteers instead they decided to earn money.

It has increased the prices of 94 life saving drugs. The minister for information used the word "rationalised" instead of increased. This is a gimmick from him. Even the Business reported:

"In a post cabinet briefing, Prime Minister's Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan said price of Remdesivir was being reduced from over 10,000 rupees to 8,400 rupees. Besides, the prices of 94 medicines have been rationalised to ensure availability of quality medicine at reasonable rates".

If they would have actually reduced the prices they would have been roaring at the top of their lungs.
 

muhammadhafeezmalik

FULL MEMBER
Jan 21, 2015
247
0
114
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
It depends how one looks at it. I would prefer to use the term 'Rationalize' or 'standardize' the market.
Currently e.g. take a generic drug furosemide a diuretic. In the market it is available by many names depending on the manufacturer both national and international e.g Furosinox or Lasix. The price variation is immense sometimes upto a 100Rs between different companies. Many a times when you write a prescription the patient will come back and say that the medicine is not available and the pharmacist gives the same drug from a different company. In short people are forced to buy more expensive brands, the same medicine which can be made available for less cheaper. Abbott or Sanofi is generally cheaper than GSK, both have very good efficacy.
A patient e.g. with UTI or Gastroenteritis can be treated with either a couple of hundred rupees prescription or a thousand or so.
2ndly alot of times a doctor is forced to write a more expensive imported drug because local drug is short or not available.

I do not know how gov calculates base price for a generic drug because it has always varied considerably among different pharmaceutical companies.

IMO the intention behind this is,
1) Increase the market availability of cheaper counterparts at a marginally increased price, which will still be considerably cheaper than the more expensive options. This will invariably reduce the market share of more expensive counterparts, in turn forcing them to reduce prices to retain their share. Make the market unviable for importers which will increase the overall productivity of local companies.
2) This will improve the capacity of local companies which were forced to reduce production citing economic viability (at least the more affordable ones), this will greatly decrease the influence of hoarding mafias, curbing artificial price manipulation and availability.
3) Allow the companies to raise enough capital or economic viability for local companies to start manufacturing drugs which were previously available in very limited quantity or not at all ( especially gynaecological drugs which we were massively dependent on India for, even for simple conditions as thrush).
Excellent.

Why bring politics in drugs, if India agrees today we will happily play a cricket series with India but we will not buy raw material for life saving drugs from on pretext of politics. how strange!!
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Top