Dr Zafar Mirza says talks underway over hike in medicine prices

Bureau Report

KARACHI: Refuting the increase in the medicine prices, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza has said that talks are underway with the pharmaceutical companies over hike in prices of medicine.

“Without notification from the ministry, medicine prices cannot be jacked-up”, Dr Zafar Mirza said.

The SAPM said that prices are reviewed every year after budget and talks are underway with the pharmaceutical companies in this context.

It was reported last week that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had approved an increase in prices of medicines up to 10 percent.

According to the notification issued on Saturday, the regulator had allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase prices of their lifesaving drugs by up to 7pc and other drugs by up to 10 percent. The decision to raise drug prices had been taken in line with the consumer price index (CPI).

Earlier in January, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) had notified reduction in prices of 89 medicines on directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan after the federal cabinet reduced the prices in its meeting.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said the prices of several life-saving drugs had also been reduced.