LAHORE - Drug Lawyers Forum (DLF) and Young Pharmacist Association (YPA) have criticised Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) for not fulfilling the legal obligation of notifying National Formulary of Pakistan in Officials Gazette.

Speaking at a press conference at a local hotel yesterday, office bearers of DLF and YPA said that the purpose of not notifying formulary was to increase prices of medicines.

President DLF Noor Muhammad Mehr, General Secretary YPA Haroon Yousaf and Joint Secretary Hina Shaukat also condemned National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for action against pharmacists instead of apprehending officers of DRAP and Ministry of National Health Services involved in frequent increases in drug prices on wishes of blue eyed pharmaceutical companies.

Noor Mehr said that pharmacists of good repute have wrongly implicated by the NAB. He said that NAB has arrested and made reference against the ad-hoc and proxy members of pricing committee. He urged NAB to open all 20 meetings of pricing committee and take action against responsible officers of DRAP.

Haroon Yousaf alleged that entire record of pricing and registration has been tempered to save big fish.

Hina Sahaukat said that FIA has revealed import of stents at Euro 20 per stent from Germany, which is equal to Rs2500. As per the pricing formula under section 12 of Drugs Act, she said, the price of stent must be fixed at Rs3500 per stent. But stents are being sold from Rs100,000 to Rs250,000, she said. She urged NAB to recover looted money from the companies and hold DRAP and Ministry’s authorities accountable.

She informed that another classical example is hepatitis-C medicine, where DRAP has awarded Price Rs.55,000 per pack of 28 tablets, and hepatitis-C medicine was purchased by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government at Rs 48.88 per tablet.