May 17, 2019: Minister of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Dr. Zafar Mirza in his press conference yesterday announced decisions taken by the Federal Cabinet to reduce prices of medicines.
Reduction in prices of 395 drugs notified vide SRO dated 31-12-2018 will be implemented in letter and spirit since the Sindh High Court has disposed of petitions filed by the pharmaceutical companies.
Prices of drugs which had been increased by more than 75% will be brought down to 75% increase. Increase of 9% allowed on 10th January, 2019 will stand withdrawn to the extent of drugs whose prices had been increased between 50 to 75%.
He gave an example of price of Ferrous sulphate tablets which was Rs.64.28 for 1000 tablets and it was increased to Rs.218 (239% increase). Now it will be reduced to Rs.112.49 for 1000 tablets.
Another example is price of Solu-Cortef 100mg Injection which was available at Rs.86. After increase of 178% its price was fixed at Rs.238.71. Due to limiting its increase to 75% now its price will be Rs.150.50.
Patients will directly get benefit of Rs.10 billion (approx.) in saving on medicine purchase due to above measures.
The companies which had not reduced prices of 395 drugs after notification of their prices will be prosecuted in the Drug Courts and every penny of overcharged amount will be recovered.
“To provide for long term solution we are introducing soon a National Medicine Policy that will ensure access of essential medicines to the common man at affordable prices”, said the Minister.
He said major reforms are being introduced in the working of his ministry and he would share his 100 days progress with the nation.