Government scratches power of Pharmaceuticals to control drug price

Government of Pakistan scratched the power of medicine companies to increase the prices of drugs yesterday.

According to details, the federal cabinet has granted its approval to put an end to all provisions of Drug Pricing Policy, 2018 which contradict Section 12 of Drugs Act, 1976 on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan who also holds the portfolio of Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.

Sources informed that the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza opposed the decision while Ministry of Health Secretary Aamir Ashraf Khawaja favoured the decision.

After the federal cabinet’s approval, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination will determine drug prices on the applications of pharmaceutical companies and notification of price hikes will be issued by the federal government, said sources.

It is said that the Federal Health Ministry had earlier submitted a summary before the federal cabinet seeking an end to paragraph seven of Drug Pricing Policy, 2018.

However, the summary was dropped from the agenda of the federal cabinet’s meeting held on June 24 after Prime minister’s aide Dr Zafar Mirza allegedly approached the Cabinet Secretary Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera.