Islamabad - Drug Regularity Authority Pakistan (DRAP) has fixed inflated prices of hepatitis medicine due to mala fide intention for the profit of powerful groups ruling medicine industry, two associations in a joint press briefing alleged on Wednesday.

Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association (PYPA) and Pakistan Drug Lawyers Forum (PDLF) have held series of media briefings against Ministry of National Health Services & Regulations (NHS) and DRAP.

Both associations have alleged that top officials of ministry were involved in financial embezzlements in registration of medicines.

PYPA and PDLF representatives came with comparison sheet of hepatitis medicine price hike in the country, accusing the official authorities for fixing high prices of the medicine.

President PDLF Dr Noor Muhammad Mahar and Dr Haroon Yusuf from PYPA accused high officials of DRAP for fixing exorbitant prices of hepatitis medicine. 

“The 21st meeting of Drug Pricing Committee on 10th April 2017 held between pharmacy companies and DRAP high officials ended on fixing high prices of medicine after a deal of millions of rupees was settled between the two sides,” Dr Noor Mahar alleged in his statement.

He also informed media that in Drug Pricing Committee meeting held this month, it was written in the agenda that a company has applied Daclatasvir at Rs 18 per tablet and Sofosbuvir 400mg + Ledipasvir 90mg tablet at Rs 75 per tablet.

But, DRAP approved the prices of medicine Rs 162.50 and Rs 1050 respectively which clearly reveals mala fide intention of DRAP and NHS, alleged Dr Noor.

Dr Haroon Yousaf representative of PYPA alleged that in 2015, renewal of a pharmaceutical company was though rejected by DRAP, but later on its stents were imported in the country.

“This happened because the then Director Plant Operations & Technical later became the Chief Executive Officer of (DRAP),” he alleged.

He also said that there are  more than 20 million hepatitis patients in Pakistan and 4000 patients are silently dying daily with the complications of hepatitis.

He alleged that hepatitis is the disease of poor masses but DRAP and NHS are exerting its full force to keep prices of medicines very high.

Dr Haroon alleged that after immediate appointment of Dr Aslam Afghani as CEO DRAP, he embezzled entire record of registration and pricing of DRAP to replace bad files of the companies he had served.

“In the 241st meeting of Central Licensing Board, the license of the company was renewed,” he said. He accused CEO DRAP for abusing the authority.

Dr Hina Shaukat of PYPA alleged that DARP and NHS are deceiving not only parliament, courts of law but public at large by increasing the price to increase the profits of Club of 50.

Both associations representatives asked the Prime Minister to take action against alleged embezzlements occurred in price fixing of medicine.