Islamabad - Drug Regularity Authority Pakistan (DRAP), in violation of Drug Act, is registering medicines with brand names instead of generic. This is causing a price hike in medicines across the country,” Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association (PYA) said on Thursday. 

PYA and Pakistan Lawyers Forum (PLF), in a media briefing, said that registration of medicines with generic names will reduce the prices of medicine by 5percent, but DRAP and Ministry of National Health Services & Regulations (NHS&R) is deliberately violating the Drug Act 1976.

“DRAP issued registration letters of 81000 single ingredient drugs by their generic names,” said Muhammad Usman from PYA.

The PYA and PLA accused the DRAP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Federal Minister for NHS Saira Afzal Tarar for amending the drug act with mal fide and disobeying the law.  He said that a letter has been written to DRAP and ministry to make both associations members of the consultative meetings on “proposed Changes in Drug Act 1976, DRAP Act 2012 and Rules,” as watch dog.

Muhammad Usman said that cabinet division has directed health ministry to take PYA as member for consultation but the health and DRAP officials are avoiding amending the law.

PYA also accused Shifa |International Hospital for selling medicine to in-door patients at 10-25percent higher prices.

Muhammad Usman accused that the appointment of Federal Inspector of Drugs (FID), Islamabad was made in an underhand deal between DRAP’s top official Aslam Afghani and Shifa Medical hospital.

He said that the life of thousands of patients is at risk due to unavailability of life saving medicines while the ministry is involved in favouring 50 big pharmaceutical companies that take ‘bribe’.

He said that cabinet division has taken notice that DRAP officials are openly getting First Class Air Tickets, stay at luxury hotels and other facilities from big pharmaceutical companies for registration of imported drugs.

 Law enforcement agencies are not taking any legal action against the officials of DRAP to stop this blatant corruption.

“FIA is hand in glove with DRAP as it has taken no action,” said PYA representative.

Meanwhile, DRAP said in a statement that Young Pharmacist Association of Pakistan has been supporting Everest Pharma Company which is involved in manufacturing of unregistered and banned sex drugs. 

These elements are deliberately spreading rumours and misleading the public with respect to prices of drugs for the sake of their vested interest.  Culprits are using decade old data to falsely allege that thousands of patients are dying.