LHC wants to know rationale behind 262pc hike in medicine prices

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LAHORE: The LHC directed the federal govt to submit a report explaining the rationale behind its move to jack up prices of essential life-saving drugs by up to 262 per cent.

Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi was hearing a writ petition that requested the high court to declare the government’s September 22 decision of hiking rates of 94 essential medicines illegal.

The court directed the government to submit the report by next hearing on November 04.

Petitioner Advocate Azhar Siddique stated before the court that rates of essential life-saving medicines have been increased by up to 262 per cent by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP)  in violation of the laws, which has added to the miseries of inflation-hit people. He pleaded with the bench to declare the increase illegal.

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On September 24, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had said that the recent hike in prices of 94 essential life-saving drugs by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) was ‘inevitable’ to ensure availability of the medicines.

Dr Faisal Sultan, while talking to media in Islamabad, said that a ‘reasonable increase’ was made in prices of 94 essential drugs by the DRAP.  Pharmaceutical companies usually stop production of some medicines if prices are not increasing, he said, adding a halt in production by the pharmaceutical companies create a shortage of drugs across the country.

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