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Drug court to try firms refusing to cut prices | The Express Tribune

ISLAMABAD: The government is expected to take up the issue of hike in drug prices at its next cabinet meeting while it intends to move the drug court against all those pharmaceutical companies who refuse to lower prices of their medicines in line with the recent policy decision of the government.

This was disclosed by the federal health secretary during a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on National Health which met with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Senator Mian Ateeq Shaikh in the chair.

Federal Health Secretary Captain (retired) Zahid Saeed told the committee that the government had last allowed an increase in prices of medicines in 2001. Another 15% increase in prices was approved in 2013 but this decision was reversed soon after. The pharmaceutical companies, though, moved to the court against the decision.
The Supreme Court had then ordered to take a decision on prices of 890 medicines within 10 weeks. In the meantime, thousands of cases for an increase in medicine prices under hardship were submitted to the drug regulator.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) then issued an order to reduce prices of 395 medicines while it directed to increase the prices of 464 medicines under the hardship quota. Prices of some 30 drugs were kept unchanged. Pharmaceutical companies, Saeed said, refused to reduce the prices of the 395 medicines and instead approached the Sindh High Court and obtained a stay order. The high court last month decided in favour of the government and rejected the appeal from pharmaceutical companies.

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Drug court to try firms refusing to cut prices | The Express Tribune.