LAHORE: A petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the recent decision by the federal government to permit pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of 94 lifesaving drugs.
As per details, the petition was filed by Advocate Nadeem Sarwar on Saturday and the federal and provincial governments, among others, have been made respondents.
In the petition, Sarwar prayed upon the court that the government has allowed the price increase of medicines by 262 percent which is illegal.
The petitioner said, “The citizens are already worried about inflation and unemployment in the country.” “The court should declare the increase in the prices of medicines null and void,” he requested.
Earlier, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan said that the federal cabinet had allowed rationalizing prices of the drugs that had been reported to be in short supply due to unrealistically low cost.
He said prices were increased for the drugs in the “hardship category” on the recommendation of the Drug Pricing Committee under the Drugs Pricing Policy of 2018.
Explaining the decision, Dr Sultan said the decision was taken in order to end the unavailability of drugs in the market due to unrealistic prices, consequent selling of such drugs in the black-market and to ensure that they are locally available instead of being sold through unregulated channels at high prices.
He said the drugs whose prices have been allowed to increase include medicines such as furosemide injections for emergency use in high blood pressure; acetazolamide tablets for glaucoma; hydralazine tablets for lowering blood pressure and carbamazepine tablets and suspension for epilepsy.
The government took the decision in order to end the chronic shortage of drugs in the local market. Pharmaceutical companies usually stop production of some medicines if prices are not increasing, he said, adding a halt in production by the pharmaceutical companies creates a shortage of drugs across the country.
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