LAHORE - Young Pharmacists Association (YPA) staged a demonstration outside Lahore Press Club yesterday to protest against increase in prices of drugs. Dozens of pharmacists gathered outside the LPC. They were carrying placards and banners inscribed with the demand of withdrawal of increase in the prices of essential drugs, the participants chanted slogans against the government and Drap high-ups.

“The third time increase in prices of medicines in one year has been effected during the ‘illegal tenure’ of incumbent Chief Executive Officer of DRAP, also an owner of two pharmaceutical companies, which in itself is a conflict of interest,” said Noor Muhammad Mehr, President, Pakistan Drug Lawyers Forum, while addressing the participants of protest demonstration.

The YPA General Secretary Dr Haroon Yousaf, Joint Secretary Dr Hina Shaukat, Pakistan Pharmaceuticals Association, Vice President Dr Zaheer Afzal, Joint Secretary Tahir Ilyas, COPS Secretary Legal Affairs and Advocate Hafiz Ahsan Naseer Aslam, Former Member Drug Court Mamoon Ashraf Kambooh, PTI Trade Secretary Tabassum Anwar and PTI Cantonment Lahore President Omer Fareed Bhatti led the demonstration.

“After deceptive statements by DRAP CEO Aslam Afghani and Minister Health Saira Afzal Tarar before apex court, parliament and the nation regarding no price increase of medicines for nearly three years, the CEO has now confessed that DRAP and Federal Ministry of Health have increased prices of 1050 medicines,” the protestors informed. The participants alleged that CEO DRAP and Federal Ministry of Health had been increasing prices of medicines on fortnight basis as next price increase is expected on August 30, 2016. Recently, they informed, National Accountability Bureau has recovered Rs385 million from a medium sized pharma company. “NAB must recover entire looted amount through increase in prices of these 1050 medicines from DRAP CEO and all concerned officials,” they demanded.