Increase in medicines’ price
It is very pathetic that Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and Provincial Health Regulatory Authorities turn blind eye to frequent arbitrary increases in the prices of life saving drugs by the pharmaceutical companies. DRAP had issued a notification in July, revoking the earlier decision of allowing the pharmaceutical firms to raise the prices of medicines from 10 to 15 percent. A new price list of different brands manufactured by the national and multinational firms was also provided to the medicines’ manufacturers and distributors. But only one multinational pharmaceutical company “Bayer” lowered the prices of its products whereas other national and multinational companies and their distributers threw the DRAP notification and revised price list to the dust bin and are charging high prices of life saving drugs being used by patients as regular items of outdoor treatment for their whole life. Instead of complying with the notification of reducing the prices of medicines, Pharmaceutical firms have increased the prices of medicines by further 7 percent including the ones which are used by patients for life time.
The price of Hymulin (R) has gone up to Rs.920 which is widely used by the patients of diabetes. The prices Hymulin 70/30 and LintusSolostar have been jacked up abnormally. Likewise, the prices of medicines for blood pressure control, treatment of ulcer and migraine has registered an increase of Rs.50 to Rs. 100. The available data on type-1 and type-2 diabetes reveal that 26 percent people in the country are diabetic, majority of them are on different preparations of insulin injections plus Solstar injection. The 50 percent arbitrary increase in the price of insulin will further compound the financial woes of diabetic patients. Moreover, the pharmaceutical companies charge exorbitantly high prices of medicines that heart and blood pressure patients regularly use. The DRAP authorities and Drug Inspectors of Provincial Health Department must not play the role of spectators at the cost of the precious lives of the people and implement the instructions about lowering of medicines’ price in addition to taking strong action against the unbridled practice of arbitrary increase in the prices of life saving medicines.