KARACHI - The pharmaceutical companies in the country have not increased the prices of any of their drugs and are strictly following the old prices despite severe challenges, Pharma Bureau claimed on Saturday. Pharma Bureau, a representative body of research-based multinational pharmaceutical companies operating in Pakistan, has made it clear that any allegation on pharmaceutical companies with regards to the arbitrary price hike of drugs is baseless.

“Pharmaceutical companies are not involved in any illegal practice like pasting new price tags or stickers, repackaging or scratching old prices from the drugs. Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) should investigate who is involved in taking benefit of this situation while blaming the pharmaceutical companies,” the spokesperson of Pharma Bureau said, adding that pharmaceutical companies are still selling their products at the rates allowed by the government and would welcome any investigation in this regard. “It is true that we are in state of emergency but it does not mean we would indulge in such illicit activity otherwise there is no point in repeatedly asking government to raise the prices of drugs that have been on freeze for more than 12 years now”, she added. However, she said that the pharma industry has time and again requested the government to devise a balanced pricing policy which allows price increase linked to either the CPI or inflation adjustments.

There has been no price increase for last 12 years and the situation has resulted in the closure of five major multinationals and many local companies, as their profit margins fell drastically,” she added.

She said that the industry is hopeful of review by the Prime Minister over his decision to disallow 15 per cent increase which had been approved following all the procedures and after more than a year long deliberation.