Medicine Prices Remain Unchanged in Pakistan

Country: PAKISTAN | Region: ASIA & SOUTH PACIFIC | Type: Price Changes | Keywords: #covid19 #drap #drugpricingpolicy #drugshortages #essentialmedicines #nationalhealthservice #priceincreases


PRICENTRIC BRIEF:
  • The Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination (NHSR&C) allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of essential drugs by 7% and non-essential drugs by 10%, in accordance with the annual consumer price index (CPI)
  • However, pharmaceutical companies decided against rising drug prices due to the coronavirus’ impact in the healthcare system, mostly because of increased shortages, so drug prices will remain unchanged until October
  • Zakaur Rehman, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA), explained, “The prices will increase by next December or January as under the law, the companies will increase the prices on new product manufacture after October 1…We cannot change the dates for the drugs store in chemist shops and godowns so people should not pay the increase in price of drugs manufactured before October 1”

THE DETAILS

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination (NHSR&C) allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of essential drugs by 7% and non-essential drugs by 10%, in accordance with the annual consumer price index (CPI).

Each year, the Ministry of National Health Services reviews drug prices according to the CPI, and under the Drug Pricing Policy 2018, pharmaceutical companies are allowed to raise the price of essential medicines by 7% and non-essential medicines by 10%.

However, pharmaceutical companies decided against rising drug prices due to the coronavirus’ impact in the healthcare system, mostly because of increased shortages. Drug prices will remain unchanged until the end of next month to continue to provide relief to people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July, the government issued a notice about revising the prices of both essential and non-essential medicines following approval from the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), but there was never any follow-up due to COVID-19. Pharmaceutical companies had agreed to not raise medicine prices before October 1, 2020.

Zakaur Rehman, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA), explained, “The prices will increase by next December or January as under the law, the companies will increase the prices on new product manufacture after October 1. We cannot change the dates for the drugs store in chemist shops and godowns so people should not pay the increase in the price of drugs manufactured before October 1.”

Not every drug will experience a price increase, Rehman further added; rather, only of few drugs will be increased.

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