LAHORE  -    Welcoming the decision of withdrawing across the board 9 percent increase in prices of drugs, pharmaceutical manufacturers have stressed the need for introduction of one molecule one price mechanism in the larger interest of the consumers.

Drug Regulatory Authority had allowed 9 percent increase in prices of drugs in January this year. Considerable increase in prices of 625 important drugs caused public uproar that ultimately led to removal of Minister for National Health Services and Regulations Amer Kiyani. After assuming charge as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health, Dr Zafar Mirza announced withdrawal of the said SRO and other measures to provide relief to the consumers before the start of holy month of fasting. He hoped that the decision would help saving consumers more than Rs7 billion annually.

Local pharmaceutical manufacturers have hailed the move aimed at facilitating the consumers and suggested measures to avoid such a scenario in future.

“Prices should be given to molecules and not brands. Prices should be uniform on the basis of one molecule one price. DRAP Act 2012 is applicable on all manufacturers. The question is why not the same price. For this purpose, previous practice of uniform prices as per SRO471 and SRO100 should be reinstated,” said Amjad Ali Jawa, former Chairman Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) while commenting on decision announced by Special Assistant to PM on Health.

“The Ministry should take all the stakeholders into confidence instead of negotiating with big industry through PPMA, representing only 225 industries and Pharma Bureau, less than 20 companies. Around 500 non PPMA manufacturers are neither consulted nor taken into confidence while taking important decisions,” said Jawa.

Jawa urged the government to take control and revise prices on regular basis.