Islamabad - Drug Regularity Authority Pakistan (DRAP) and Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association (PYPA) on Thursday levelled allegation of corruption against each other.

PYPA held a joint press conference with Pakistan Drug Lawyers Forum (PDLF) and alleged the ministry of National Health Regulations and Services (NHS) and DRAP of paving the way for corruption in the current budget.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) DRAP Dr Aslam Afghani rejected all the allegations in a press conference and termed the opposition against him as a ‘campaign with vested interest’. President PDLF Dr Noor Muhammad Mahar alleged that the ministry NHS and DRAP officials are involved in paving the way for corruption in the new budget.

“Officials are involved in taking monetary benefits and foreign trips while DRAP is approving inferior medicines in bundles to favour multinational companies,” he said.

He said that local industry is deliberately being victimised with the joint connivance of DRAP and multinational companies while there is no law if multinational product is found substandard.

“This is the reason of decline in Pharma Exports from $220 million to $120 million and increase in imports from $419 million to $676 million,” he said.

He accused the CEO DRAP Aslam Afghani for misusing his power and authority and illegally approved two of his own herbal companies.

President PDLF presented a letter with subject “Complaint of Spurious, Misbranded and Substandard Quality Products in the Market” addressing all field offices of DRAP, all health secretaries of provinces and AJK and also all drug inspectors of provinces and federal.

“The essence of the said letter was to stop the sale of all competitors of a multinational company and increase the sale of that favoured by CEO DRAP,” said Dr Noor. PYPA representative Dr Hina said that although there are more than 20million hepatitis patients in Pakistan and 4000 hepatitis patients are silently dying daily with the complications of hepatitis.

“The government is trying to give relief to common people of Pakistan, but DRAP has prepared a heavy price bomb to loot poor Pakistanis, which will result in cumulative 15 per cent price increase in July 2017,” she said.

Meanwhile, the CEO DRAP Aslam Afghani rejected all allegations from both associations and declared them incorrect and baseless. Dr Aslam said that owner of the local company being run by one of the member of (PDLF) was involved in manufacturing and selling of unregistered drugs and medicines and DRAP in raid conducted by FIA had sealed that company,” he said.

“Products like tablet Silk, Link, Decore, Ispar, Sancos, MTD, M Plus, Penball were being manufactured and the DRAP took stern actions against him and other such culprits,” he said.

Some elements are involved in media trial of officials of DRAP and Ministry of NHSRC for their illegal gains while some of them are involved in heinous crime of illegal manufacturing of banned sex drugs and unauthorised manufacturing of unregistered drugs and violations of licensing rules, he said.

DRAP chief also said that Drug Pricing Policy-2015 was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet which provides a transparent mechanism for fixation, and re-fixation in prices of drugs.

“In the Drug Pricing Policy-2015, there is provision in paragraph 8 for annual price increase in prices of drugs and for transparency,” he said.

He briefed under this policy, prices of drugs were kept frozen till 30th June, 2016, however, in July 2016, under provisions of the Drug Pricing Policy-2015, annual price of the medicine was increased with 1.43 per cent.

He said ministry and DRAP have not recommended nor have a relation in regard to increase promotional budget of pharmaceutical companies from 5 per cent to 10 per cent under the Drugs Act, 1976 or DRAP Act, 2012.

“The proposals in the budget are for amendment in the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 is from Revenue/Finance Division which is under consideration of the Parliament,” he said.

Dr Aslam Afghani said during the last one year, 30 out of 700 pharmaceutical companies increased prices of 380 out of around 70,000 registered drugs without approval of the federal government and DRAP after managing to obtain restraining orders by these firms and their associations by misleading the Sindh High Court at Karachi.

DRAP chief denied all allegations of being office bearer of any multinational pharmaceutical company.

“I have no position in any multinational pharmaceutical company,” he said.