LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday directed the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), the health department and other respondents to furnish their comments on a petition challenging the recent 262 per cent hike in prices of essential life-saving drugs.
Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi heard the petition filed by advocate Nadeem Sarwar requesting the high court to declare the government’s September 22 decision of jacking up rates of 94 essential medicines illegal.
He cited the federal and provincial governments as well as other relevant authorities as respondents.
The petitioner 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.
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 Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (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.