PPMA dismisses proposed drug policy

KARACHI: Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) on Thursday totally dismissed new proposed drug policy and said that the Health Ministry and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan had ignored its recommendations before sending the proposed drug policy draft to the Prime Minister for approval.

“No description about raise in seized costs of medicines since 15 years has been made in proposed drug policy, which is matter of great concern. “The crisis hit pharmaceutical industry will face more losses if prices of medicines are not raised on priority basis,” PPMA spokesperson said in a statement.

PPMA spokesperson said: “After the seizing of medicines prices in 2001, the cost of production & utility services, transport and other expenses has now risen by 300% but ironically the government has done nothing to pull pharmaceutical industry from financial crises.”

The spokesperson said that about 100 pharmaceutical factories had been closed during 15 years and it was feared that more would face closure. “Five lac people are directly linked to this industry. The delay in the price raise will cause shortage of medicines in the market and ultimately sale of substandard and smuggled medicines will get a boost, which will endanger the health of millions of patients in the country.”

The spokesperson said that the State Bank of Pakistan in its annual report had strongly criticized drug control authority and drug policy. The spokesperson said that 60 percent of medicines in Pakistan are cheap as compared to India.

In the estimation of Policy Board, Drug Control Authority, it was stated that there should be raise of 97 percent in the medicines of pharmaceutical industry. The 15 interim raise was approved by the government in 2013, which too was withdrawn. In Drug Pricing Policy, the government had mentioned to seize the prices of medicines by November 2013.

PPMA asked Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Health Ministers to play their due role in ending crippling crisis hitting pharmaceutical industry hard and save it from heavy losses.

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