ISLAMABAD - The federal government has taken a number of concrete steps to reduce the inflated prices of medicines in the country.

According to an official of the Ministry of National Health Service,

Regulation and Coordination, during the last two years, 105 cases of unauthorized price increase were noticed by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) against Pharmaceutical companies. He said 17 companies filed writ petitions in different courts and  managed to obtain stay orders. On September 17, 2013, the DRAP filed an application in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to pass appropriated orders for disposal of suits filed by pharmaceutical companies in Sindh High Court, Karachi, Lahore High Court, Lahore and Civil Judge Lahore. The official said DRAP had also filed 25 civil miscellaneous  applications (CMAs) in the Sindh High Court, Lahore High Court, and Civil Judge Lahore to vacate stay orders issued by the said courts in matters of unilateral price increase on medicines by pharmaceutical companies.

Moreover, DRAP field offices had also been advised to remain vigilant, conduct market surveys and take actions against the companies if found overcharging of drugs.

Accordingly, Federal Inspector of Drugs had conducted raids on the warehouses of manufacturers and importers and seized stocks of over priced drugs. He said under Section 6 of the Drugs Act, 1976, the storage and sale of drugs was regulated by the provincial governments, therefore, DRAP has advised the Provincial Health Authorities to take action under the law against the companies who increase prices of drugs more than approved prices. He further said a policy to rationalize the prices of drugs was also under consideration of the Policy Board of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.