Nebulising your children will cost more because drug prices have increased

January 11, 2019

Photo: AFP

Making sure your children are healthy as can be this winter will cost more now as the government has increased the prices of nebulising solutions and suspensions.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has approved an increase of up to 15% in prices of medicines after pharmaceuticals complained about the increase in the cost of imported raw materials.

Last year, the dollar increased 27% against the rupee, making imports of raw materials more expensive for the industry. To absorb its impact, the pharma sector had asked for a 25% increase in medicines price so they could continue their operations and stay profitable.

However, the government approved a 9% increase in normal medicines that are used for illnesses, such as fevers, colds and coughs, while a 15% increase was allowed in the prices of emergency medicines, meaning those that treat seizures as well as heart and respiratory problems. In some cases the increase was 17%. For example, nebuliser solution from Chiesi (pharma) will now cost Rs377 compared to the previous price of Rs320.45.

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People in the wholesale market say there is severe shortage of medicines in the market and people are taking advantage of this by selling medicine at exorbitant prices in the black market. For example, Zenix and Tegral are selling at Rs2,100 and Rs1,200 against their regular price of Rs350 for a pack of 30 pills.

Pharmaceutical companies import chemicals (raw material) from abroad to make medicines, but a stronger dollar resulted in a higher cost of production for drug companies and threatened their profits.

Federal Health Minister Amir Mahmood Kiyani says the price increase was made after months of deliberation. “We don’t want the people to suffer or the industry to pack up in which case we won’t have medicine for the people,” he said.

The minister also said they are working on subsidies for medicines and will also roll out 720,000 health cards at the end of this month.

 
 
 
 
 

2 Comments

  1. Obaid Ali   January 11, 2019 3:43 pm/ Reply

    Pharma’s greed is killing citizens and that needs to be controlled on war foot basis. It is not as difficult maths as it has been created. Companies offering drug at 50 Rs in hospitals for which retail price is Rs 300 for patient. This is the ratio and sufficient to understand phenomena of heartless exploitations.

    Pakistanis should not have to live in fear that they will die because they cannot afford the life-saving medication when they need.

    We pay high prices as compared to neighbour for prescription drugs. This will endup with a health care crisis in which many families will not be able to afford to get the medicine they need. People may be dying because they may not afford the outrageous cost of their medications.

    Please try to understand the pain of people and plunder of some industrialists. The devaluation impact of 10 Rs should not be allowed to be converted as an opportunity to take out 2000 from the pocket of innocent and helpless people. Let’s have a debate and put facts on table.

    • Mian Faseehat   January 12, 2019 9:12 am/ Reply

      Well, you always like to talk, don’t you? You never provide facts. You just use fancy words and that’s all. Prices for hospitals are lowered because of the quantity and there are many other factors like no marketing is required, no supply problems, no retailer or distributor profit involved. There are many factors but you would never highlight them. You yourself are an absconder as you just take salary for your position but you are actually absent from your place of duty. How do you spend the money which you earn by doing nothing? How do you sleep at night? You are a hollow man using fancy words and pretend to be a deep thinker. Please refrain from spreading unrealistic and baseless rumours


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