Punjab government refutes PTI’s claim of price gap in drugs


LAHORE: While responding to a news item published in daily Dawn regarding the purchase of the same medicines by the Punjab government at a higher price compared to KPK, a spokesman of Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Punjab, has clarified that Punjab Health department procures medicines from high ranking companies and has to fulfill additional requirements that the KP government does not.

The controversy arose after the chairman of PTI, KPK’s ruling part, Imran Khan cited a news item which had claimed that the Punjab Government was selling medicines at a higher price than the PTI led KPK government.

The spokesman said that KPK government purchased Diclofenac Sodium 50 mg from M/s Danas pharmaceutical whereas Punjab purchases the same medicine from M/s Novartis pharma with the brand name Voltral. The spokesman cited IMS ranking which show M/s Danas ranked at 123 while Novartis is ranked 8. Similarly KPK acquired Cap Omeprazole 20mg from M/s Rock pharmaceutical while Punjab government purchased the same medicine from M/s Ferozesons Labs, who have branded their medicine Omega. The spokesman said that M/s Rock Pharma does not have an IMS ratified ranking whereas M/s Ferozesons Labs ranks at No.10.

He further said that although the medicine for Hepatitis C patients ‘tab. Sofosbuvir’ was bought by both governments from the same company, M/s Getz Pharma, the medicine used in Punjab has additional requirements. The medicine bought by the Punjab has 2 D Data Matric Barcode (drugs identification online system), courier services with tracing facility, separate one moth packaging for patients, and international testing from WHO prequalified labs. The prices of item 6 Cap Tranexamic Acid 500 mg, was also the same in KPK as in Punjab, despite Punjab acquiring additional services such as the previously mentioned international testing and scattered delivery at 172 destinations.

The spokesman also denied that Primary and Secondary Health Punjab had received Infusion Moxifloxacin 400mg/250ml.

The spokesman further said that Primary and Secondary Health Punjab, on the direction of the Chief Minister is providing only the best quality medicines in hospitals and that the department is going to purchase top-quality medicines worth Rs. 4 billion from more multinational companies in near future.