ISLAMABAD: Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Thursday criticised unilateral hike in the prices of drugs by some multinational companies terming an illegal move to earn additional profit on the cost of poor patients.

Traders would not allow exploitation of masses by pharmaceuticals with the connivance of officials concerned as the companies were already earning good profits, he said.

Speaking to the business community, he said that Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) should take action against these foreign companies lest the local pharma industry follow the suit burdening masses.

Otherwise, the Drug Pricing Committee of DRAP be dissolved and probe should be initiated against a top official of DRAP who has served as director in one of the culprit company, he demanded.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the prices of oil and raw material continue to drop which has reduced production cost but situation in Pakistan is otherwise where everyone is allowed to plunder masses for personal welfare which would be protested.

The veteran business leader said that some companies are picking up unsold stock from the market to sell it on the new price which is height of discrimination.

He said that pharma mafia unilaterally increased prices of medicine in 2013 which no meaningful action was initiated against them which has emboldened them.

An action should be initiated against those who have caused artificial shortage of life saving and other drugs in the market, he demanded.