Pakistan defers decision on drug price rise as pharma firms struggle


© Wire service. A client purchases medication coming from a health care source establishment in Karachi, Pakistan February 9, 2023. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro


(Includes labels of medications limited, paragraph 11)

Through Ariba Shahid and also Asif Shahzad

KARACHI, Pakistan (News Agency) -Pakistan on Monday delayed a selection on an ask for through pharmaceutical companies to elevate the costs of much more than one hundred medications, extending a stand-off along with a sector battling to control reductions coming from skyrocketing rising cost of living and also a stressed unit of currency.

The demand was actually explained during the course of an appointment of the financial administrative agency’s Economic Control Board, yet no selection was actually taken, a department declaration stated. It was actually not clear when the issue will be actually explained once again, representatives stated.

Because June, local area and also international firms, consisting of Sanofi (NASDAQ:) SA, have actually been actually pushing the federal government to elevate costs with field gateway teams the Pharma Bureau and also the Pakistan Drug Supplier’s Affiliation (PPMA).

Ayesha Tammy Haq, Exec Supervisor of the Pharma Bureau, stated some participant firms have actually totally stopped, while others have actually reduced result to counter development prices that have actually increased through 60% over the final 6 months. “Our company might come across additional cessations if points perform certainly not improve,” she stated.

Information coming from the stats bureau assembled through Wire service revealed the field had actually reduced total result through 55% given that June 2022. PPMA Leader Farooq Bukhari stated development could possibly drop additionally. “If the federal government carries out certainly not accept to readjust costs …, the PPMA cannot keep telling pharma companies to continue production.”

In addition to a global increase in the price of raw materials, the pharma companies have been hit by fiscal measures aimed at staving off economic collapse and securing more than $1 billion in funds from an International Monetary Fund bailout.

These measures include the removal of an artificial exchange rate for the rupee, which has fallen in value against the dollar by about a fifth since the start of the year. The country also suppressed imports, including inputs for the pharma sector earlier in the fiscal year as foreign exchange reserves dropped.

Inflation is also surging, hitting a 50-year-high of 31.5% in February, raising overall costs.

“The industry is asking for an across the board increase in prices on the basis of high inflation and unprecedented devaluation,” a representative of Sanofi Aventis Pakistan Ltd said, declining to be named as company officials were certainly not authorised to speak to the media.

Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel recently met representatives of several pharma firms and discussed their demands, a spokesman told Reuters, without elaborating.

Higher drug prices will add to the pain of many Pakistanis already grappling with higher fuel and food prices. Due to the development cuts, the supply of some medicine for diabetes such as glimepiride and also insulin, are running low, stated Mustufa Bilwani, supervisor of significant drug store establishment Dvago.