SC issues notice to AGP in medicine prices case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP), Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and other respondents in a petition filed by private pharmaceutical companies against reduction in prices of medicines.

A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel heard the case.

During the course of proceedings, the counsel for a private pharmaceutical company said DRAP issued a circular to reduce the prices of medicines without hearing them. The prices of medicines were reduced by 30% in 2019.

He said the Sindh High Court had directed the pharmaceutical companies to approach the relevant forum. According to the Drug Act, the decision of the Federal Government could not be challenged, he added.

He said that the Supreme Court was the last forum to file an appeal. He said that the 2015 drug policy had been declared controversial by the Supreme Court.

He said DRAP formulated a new policy in 2018 and reduced the prices of medicines.

Justice Mushir Alam said the Supreme Court could not order DRAP to fix drug prices. The government should address the concerns of pharmaceutical companies, he added.

Later, hearing of the case was adjourned till after Eidul Fitar.