Medicine prices increased four times in last three years
Medicine prices in Pakistan have increased four times in the last three years and during the tenure of current government.
In the first few months of the current government, the first health minister, Amir Kayani, was fired for raising medicine prices up to 400 times, but the rise in drug prices did not return.
For the past two and a half years, the portfolio has been held by former health assistant Zafar Mirza and now Faisal Sultan, during their time prices of medicines have tripled.
People associated with the pharma industry say that overall the prices of medicines have gone up by about 30 per cent and the prices of some medicines have gone up by 400 per cent.
Zahid Bakhtawari, head of All Pakistan Pharma Industry, says doctors should prescribe salt or formula, instead of brand names.
Ahad Bakhtawari says that there is no setup of any international company in Pakistan, all medicines are manufactured in the local industry with the same formula and style, doctors should not write the brand name so that citizens can base their formula on any medicine. But be free to shop.
He further said that three years ago the medicine for controlling cholesterol was Rs 207 but now it is available for Rs 275.
In case of heart disease or blood pressure, the medicine for keeping blood thinner has increased from Rs 311 to Rs 397.
Gastrointestinal medicine is now available at Rs 26 instead of Rs 8 for 12 tablets, and 12 tablets for fever or headache are now available at Rs 16 instead of Rs 10.
DRAP officials say, up to 10 percent of annual inflation allows pharmaceutical companies to raise prices, while citizens say inflation has risen so much that one-time bread is hardly available.
Experts say that in order to control the prices of medicines, it is necessary to cut off communication between doctors and representatives of the pharma industry.
It is impossible to control the prices unless the government plays an effective role.