ISLAMABAD-The prices of diabetes medicines have increased upto 30 percent in the market despite of government’s claim of reducing the costs of medicines, The Nation learnt on Friday.

Retailers and patients told The Nation that prices of medicines for diabetes Type-1 and Type-2 have been increased from 20 to 30 percent in the market depending upon the different companies’ products.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Pakistan is one of the 19 countries having a large number of diabetes patients. 425 million people have diabetes in the world and more than 39 million people in the MENA Region. By 2045 this will rise to 67 million. There were 7,474,000 cases of diabetes in Pakistan in 2017.

Total adult population in Pakistan is 107,734,000 and prevalence of diabetes in adults 6.9% taking the toll cases of diabetes in adults 7,474,000, according to IDF.

Talking to The Nation, a patient Muhammad Ishaq said that prices of insulin in the market have increased upto 30 percent.

“Earlier, I used to purchase insulin brand in Rs820 and now its price is Rs1,070,” he said.

Ishaq also said that as per his prescription he used average 4 sets of pen insulin in the month and now increased price has affected his purchasing power in this inflation.

He added that despite of government’s claim of reducing 15 percent prices of medicines, he has not seen any decrease in prices of diabetes medicines.

A retailer Muhammad Kamran said that along with insulin, the prices of some of the diabetes tablets used by patients diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes have also increased.

He said that prices of all diabetes medicine products have not reduced significantly despite government’s claim of decreasing price to 30 percent.

Responding to The Nation, Director Pricing Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Amanullah said that prices of insulin were not reduced by the department as it is an all imported product.

He said that due to depreciation of rupee, the price of insulin has increased. However, he said that insulin in Pakistan is being sold at lowest price comparing with other countries in the region.

Director pricing Amanullah also said that prices of tablets of Type-1 diabetes were reduced, but few sustained the previous prices because companies obtained stay at court.

He said that as soon as the stay is vacated, the prices will be reduced. Mr. Amanullah also said that prices of generic products of diabetes were decreased.

President Pakistan Drugs Lawyers Forum (PDLF) Noor Muhammad Mehar said that government’s recent approval of reducing 89 medicines has created no impact on ground.

He said that the product humoline 30/70 price is increased to Rs885 from Rs645. He said that national and multinational companies both are selling medicines on increased prices as DRAP does not have any control on pricing and companies increase it on their own will.

He said that ministry also did not take any strict action against companies involved in recent price hike of medicines in the country.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr. Zafar Mirza last week in a press briefing claimed approval of 15 per cent price reduction of 89 medicines from federal cabinet.

However, the Statuary Regulatory Order (SRO) of 89 medicines was issued on June 19, 2019.

PDLY monitoring the drugs regulation declared it an ‘eye wash’ as public paid exorbitant prices for six months despite issuance of the SRO in June earlier.

Earlier in this year, prices of medicines in country were high up to more than 100 per cent and essential medicines became unaffordable for people.