The Peshawar High Court suspended on Thursday the federal government’s notification of a 15% increase in the price of medicines. The court sought a reply from the federal and provincial governments in the case.
It has also ordered strict action against people who sell medicine at exorbitant prices.
A division bench of the Peshawar High Court, comprising Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali, heard a petition filed by Advocate Noor Alam in which he had argued that the increase in the retail price of medicine in the country is contrary to the Constitution.
“Until the living standards of the common man is improved, any such increase in the price of medicines is against the law and the Constitution,” the petitioner told SAMAA TV on Thursday. “Today, the court has suspended the government’s notification.”
The court adjourned the hearing the till February 3.
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan issued a notification on January 10 regarding the increase in prices after the federal government’s approval.
Citizens heaved sigh of relief after the Peshawar High Court’s order. “The court has made this ruling to benefit the poor. This is a very good decision,” a citizen told SAMAA TV. Another said the court’s decision to provide cheap medicines is a relief for the people.
SAMAA TV KP bureau chief Tariq Afaq said the high court’s decision is not specific to Khyber Pakhtunkwa and actually applies across the country as the Drug Regulatory Authority raised the price of medicine by 15%.
“We talked to different people affiliated with the medical and pharmaceutical fields and we were told the increase was not limited to merely 15%. Some medicines rose by 65%,” he said. “Take the example of erythromycin. It was previously available for Rs570. But it is currently being sold at Rs920.”