DRAP seizes stocks of overpriced medicines


ISLAMABAD: During a countrywide action against unauthorised and illegal hike in prices of medicine, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) claimed to have seized stocks of 83 medicines and registered cases against 28 pharmaceutical companies.

According to the regulator’s spokesperson, the body took action on Sunday against firms on overpricing in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi. Stocks of 226 medicines belonging to 59 pharma companies was confiscated.

In Lahore alone, he said, pharmaceutical companies’ medicines worth millions of rupees were seized.

He said the regulator has tightened its noose around firms which have illegally hiked medicine prices, adding these companies will be imposed heavy fines and cases registered against them as per the drug act.

Earlier, on March 6, 143 medicines being sold at inflated rates were seized while the pharmaceutical companies involved in illegal and authorised hike in prices of medicine were fined and barred from producing medicines until further orders.

Minister for Health Aamir Kiani had taken note of medicines being sold at high prices and directed the regulator to act against the pharma companies for illegally increasing the prices.

He said the government had decided to introduce an online system through which people would be able to verify the prices of medicines.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Aamir Mehmood Kiani said the federal government had taken strict action against pharmaceutical companies for an unauthorised increase in the prices of medicines.

Addressing a press conference here, the minister made it clear that some unscrupulous elements in the pharma industry would not be allowed to increase prices of their drugs over and above the approved maximum retail prices (MRPs) by the federal government.

He said the federal government had approved maximum retail price of 889 medicines with an increase up to nine per cent and made it clear that the ministry would not allow anyone to increase over and above the approved maximum retail price.

He said the notification of the increase in the prices of some medicines was issued keeping in view the increasing parity in dollar-rupee prices. He added it was necessary to increase such prices to ensure the availability of life-saving drugs in the country and to avoid any gap in demand and supply.