The government in charge has been the center of criticism by the opposition parties due to the recent price hike of medicines. The government was being held responsible for the growing price of medicines which were available at low costs just nine months before the government took over. Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination recently urged the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to present a detailed report in the next meeting on pricing mechanism, as several sellers were increasing prices of medicines without any coordination with the prices already marked out by the authorities.

The immediate action by the government has resulted in a number of drugs being confiscated to ensure price regulation. Minister for National Health Services (NHS) Aamer Mehmood Kiani has said that 226 medicines worth tens of millions of rupees, manufactured by 59 companies, have been confiscated by the government over the last few days. Such timely action ensures that the government is able to fully control the situation and point out loopholes in the narrative that the government is responsible for such price hikes. Individual medicine sellers take the liberty of increasing the price of their own accord and a transparent system needs to be established so that such acts can be punished. An added advantage here would also be to consider initiating social awareness campaigns so that the citizens can report such instances on the citizen portal along with getting regular updates on the set prices.

There is certainly another aspect to consider as well in this problem. The cost of production for manufacturers is also going up with increasing inflation. This automatically translates into lesser profits for the manufacturing companies if the selling prices are not increased accordingly. A petition is pending with DRAP pertaining to the increase in prices of medicines. It should be actively pursued in order to bridge the gap between policies and their implications otherwise more and more instances of self-induced price hikes will increase.

The government is imposing heavy fines on companies which have engaged in such behavior. This will reinforce the need to adopt diplomatic channels within the democratic system to work towards interest aggregation. This is a good step towards not just politicising the people of the countries but also its market, which has to modernise with the system. The disconnect between the market and democratic forces is what leaves the economy in the state it is in today.