RAWALPINDI: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi recovered Rs 385.11 Million from accused persons namely Tariq Haider and Mian Khalid Mehmood, Directors of M/s RG Pharmaceutica (Pvt) Ltd, in the investigation against officers/officials of national regulations and services, beneficiaries and other, regarding drug pricing issues through Plea Bargain. An investigation is under progress on allegation of illegal increase of drugs prices. NAB received a complaint wherein it was alleged that officers/officials of Ministry of National Regulation & Health Services Division (NR&HSD) and others, was involved in illegal increase in prices of drugs through Drugs Pricing Committee meetings. The prices of the drugs were fixed as per section 12 of Drugs Act 1976 by Drugs Pricing Committee (DPC) duly constituted by the Federal Government.  

During the course of investigation, it was revealed that some pharmaceutical companies have been given undue financial benefits by the members of DPC through exorbitant increase in prices of their drugs. It also reveals that the management of M/s RG Pharmaceutica (Pvt) Ltd aided, assisted, abetted, and in conspiracy with DPC members got unjustified price increase of their drug Venofer Injection on the basis of import invoice @ 3 Euro/ampoule whereas actually the company was importing its product @ 2.5/ampoule CHF (Swiss Currency) at the relevant time period.

In the same way, the management of said company also got unjustified price increase of their drug Maltofer Syrup, which was being manufactured by M/s Pharmatec Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd through a toll manufacturing agreement, on the basis that import cost of Raw Material of active ingredient (Iron) as Rs 46.272/120 ml @ CHF 94.80 per Kg. Investigation reveals that the cost of active ingredient (Iron) is CHF 49.3/Kg at the relevant time period which comes to be approximately Rs 24/120 ml and not Rs 46.272/120 ml. Hence, it is established from the record that the management of the company derived wrongful gain amounting to Rs. 385.11Million as result of unjustified price obtained through fraud and misrepresentation. The accused persons namely Tariq Haider and Mian Khalid Mehmood have submitted an application for Plea Bargain to DG NAB (R). 

 Consequently, the accused persons have entered into an express agreement with the NAB for the disposal of the case against them in clear terms of section 25 (b) of NAO 1999. They agreed voluntarily to make payment as per terms of the Plea Bargain accepted by the Chairman NAB. The offer of the accused was considered by the competent authority. After taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case, and keeping in view total worked out liability of Rs 385.11Million, the competent authority has accepted the Plea Bargain of the accused persons. The Chairman NAB accepted the plea bargain of accused persons namely Tariq Haider and Mian Khalid Mehmood for an amount of Rs. 385.11Million and subsequently approved by Accountability Court Islamabad as the accused persons have cleared whole liability.

It is pertinent to mention here that the prices of above said drugs will be reverted back to the level of 2012 in the light of Plea Bargain agreement by M/s RG Pharmaceutica (Pvt) Ltd. Moreover, Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan is being issued instructions to implement the order in its true spirit by not allowing the company to sell its above drugs beyond 2012 prices.