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LHC lifts stay on drug price deregulation

CCP approves Hilton Pharma's purchase of 2 Japanese pharmaceutical products
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April 05, 2024 (MLN): In a significant win for the pharmaceutical sector, the Lahore High Court lifted the stay order on deregulating Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) for drugs.

“The order has recorded that the deregulation notification was passed on directions of the Islamabad High Court in WP No. 4199/2022 and that the Federal Government was compelled to issue the notifications under Court directions," the copy of the order available with MG Link News reads. 

The court has observed that since the elected government has taken up the matter and will be adverted in terms of law and policy applicable to it. "The petition has been DISPOSED OF,” it added. 

Speaking about the aforementioned development, Barrister Haroon Dugal, Advocate at the Supreme Court, stated that SRO No. 228 and 229 of 2024, regarding the deregulation of Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) of Non-Essential Drugs, had been challenged. A stay order had been issued by the High Court against the implementation of the aforementioned notification.

The court also asked for an explanation from the federal government. 

"We filed a detailed report before the along with all the documents about the history of this important step of deregulation including, TORs of Working Group for Development of National Pharmaceutical Investment, minutes of a meeting of BOI, proposals for reform by Adam Smith International, PPMA Letters, presentations by Pharma Bureau and PPMA to the Government etc. along with all favourable orders passed by  Islamabad and Sindh High Courts in various cases," he said. 

He further added, "We also appeared on behalf of PPMA and explained the history of the passing of SRO 228 / deregulation of MRPs of non-essential drugs."

He also apprised the Court that the interim government’s decision was a culmination of a long process that had been initiated and almost finalised by the previous elected government. 

As a result, the case has been disposed of in favour of the pharmaceutical industry and the stay order against the deregulation of MRPs of drugs has been vacated.

To recall, on February 20, 2024, the government approved the deregulation of drug price which falls in the category of other than essential. 

Following deregulation, companies will now have the freedom to adjust prices of non-essential drugs according to their costs, leading to enhanced profitability for pharmaceutical firms.

Additionally, many companies encountered obstacles in launching new products due to pricing constraints. However, with recent deregulation, they can introduce new products at more favourable prices, further boosting their profitability.

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Posted on: 2024-04-05T23:02:42+05:00