KARACHI - Repeated postponement of meeting of Drugs Pricing Committee working under the Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan is adding to the distress of pharma industry which is badly hit by the inconsistent working of DRAP resulting in delayed registrations of the new products. It is learnt from reliable sources that the last meeting of DPC was held on October 9, 2012 where limited approvals were granted. There after meetings were scheduled but couldn’t held for one reason or other. No meeting conducted over the last three months due to which registration process of new products is significantly affected. Pharma industry was already under pressure due to delay in passing of DRAP Act 2012 where all work was at halt for about two years after devolution of health to the provinces. Slow process of registration is adding to the miseries of the industry already working under strict pricing regime where no across the board price increase granted since 2001, said Jawed Akhai, chairman Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Association. Since 2001, the dollar is depreciated to 65 per cent, compounding effect of inflation is more than 150 per cent and cost of utilities is more than doubled, he added. We are importing 90 per cent of raw material which is severely affected with sinking currency making difficult to maintain sustainable growth. DPC meetings conducted on regular basis will help in fast track registration of our products based on fair and rational pricing mechanism, said Akhai. Delayed registration process can deprive patients from getting novel therapies and irrational pricing process may lead to shortage of essential life savings drugs.