The notification to increase prices of various drugs, has been issued by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.
The Drug Pricing Policy was first introduced in February 2015. As per the policy, the prices of drugs were to remain the same till 30 June 2016. However, the policy was revised in order to keep drugs available in the market.
It is to be noted that the federal government has the authority to fix the maximum retail price of a drug as per the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Act 2012.
According to Drug Pricing Policy, rates for medicines will be increased as per the following percentages:
- Essential and common use drugs: 2.08% increase
- Multivitamins, cough syrups and other non-scheduled drugs: 2.91% increase
- Lower price drugs (tablets costing rupees three or 5ml syrup): 4.16% increase
The policy allows drug regulators to control prices based on the Consumer Price Index, which in turn determines the current inflation rate in the country.
According to the new notification:
- Increase in prices of scheduled drugs would be restricted to 50% of CPI (4% cap)
- Increase in prices of non-scheduled drugs would be restricted to 70% of CPI (6% cap)
The increase in prices — which has to be approved by the Cabinet — was due since July last year but got delayed due to various formalities.
In this regard, DRAP Pricing Director Amanullah said:
Thousands of companies are registered but not all increase prices. About 10,000 drugs had increased prices last year. However, sometimes despite increase market forces like raw material and other aspects lower the prices.