ISLAMABAD - Pharmaceutical companies increased the prices of around 100 products in violation of the approved prices by Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), The Nation learnt on Saturday.

In a related development, production of 143 overpriced medicines of 31 manufacturers had been suspended

by the DRAP.

Official sources said that DRAP, after initiating action against exorbitant hike in prices of medicines, found that pharmaceutical companies had increased the prices of around 100 products.

The federal inspectors of drugs (FIDs), which initiated action at provincial and federal levels, submitted their report to DRAP about exorbitant prices of drugs.

The report available with The Nation mentioned brand names of medicines the prices of which had been increased arbitrarily.

The report said that the mentioned and other products were being sold at higher prices than approved by DRAP. The report said that prices were immediately required to be verified as per SRO 1610 (1)/2018 issued on 31st December, 2018 and SRO 34 (1) /2019 issued on 10th January, 2019.

The report urged FIDs of respective areas to verify the prices of the mentioned drugs in the report at the level of respective manufacturers and distributors within their area of jurisdiction immediately.

The FIDs have also been directed to take immediate action under DRAP Act 2012 and Drugs Act 1976 and the rules framed there

 

 

under overpricing.

Meanwhile, official statement issued by Ministry of National Health Services said that production of 143 overpriced medicines of 31 manufacturers had been suspended by DRAP.

It said that the crackdown on unauthorised increase in price of medicines resulted in seizure of stocks of 143 medicines and production activities of pharmaceutical units for their overpriced medicines had been stopped for further action as per law.

DRAP spokesman Sajid Shah in a statement said that strict action had been initiated against unauthorised increase in price of medicines by pharmaceutical companies.

The action was taken on receipt of complaints that pharmaceutical companies had increased prices of their products over and above maximum retail prices approved by the federal government.

Federal Minister of NHSR&C Aamer Mehmood Kiyani in a statement directed DRAP to conduct market surveys for determination of overpricing.

It said that cases will be registered against these companies under SRO 913(I)/2017 on overpricing for recovery of overpriced amount. 

The statement added that DRAP had been advised to monitor maximum retail prices in the market to ensure that MRPs of drugs were not higher than the notified prices.

In case of stocks available in the retail shops of manufactured or imported medicines prior to issuance of SROs must be sold at previous MRPs printed on the label in the manner prescribed by the Drugs (Labeling and Packing) Rules, 1986 while stickers or cuttings are not allowed.

Moreover, DRAP has also initiated suspension of production activities of pharmaceutical companies for those products caught overpriced in the market than the notified price.

A DRAP official said the Federal Minister and Secretary National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination had already directed DRAP to take strict action against pharmaceutical companies selling medicines on exorbitant prices.

He said the authority had recommended registering of cases on overpriced medicines under Drug Act, 1976 and DRAP Act 2012, besides imposing heavy fines with recovery of overpriced amount.