LAHORE - The Punjab government has awarded contract of supplying Sofigat (Sofosbuvir) for hepatitis patients to Gats Pharma Karachi.

The pharma company will provide 28 tablets pack of Sofigat at Rs1398. In addition, the company will also provide 90 Ribavirin tablets free.

Purchase of medicines for hepatitis C at such low price has raised questions that why the same formula was being sold at such high rate.

In 2014, the patients were spending Rs55,000 on the treatment of hepatitis C. Later the price of that drug imported from the US was decreased to Rs33,200. The importer sold the drug to the tune of billions of rupees until some local firms entered in manufacturing of this drug. Now the drug is available at Rs5,000 to Rs5,700 in the open market.

“Who will check this huge injustice with the poor patients during the last nine month. The importer continued to fleece the patients with the patronage of DRAP officials. Many of them may have died for failure to spend such huge amount on treatment”, said Moor Muhammad Mehar, a pharmacist. He demanded impartial probe and exemplary punishment to the responsible persons.

The Supreme Court on April 26, 2016 observed that Hepatitis-C poor patients, who hardly manage two times meal, mortgage their family for purchasing costly medicines.

A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan heard a suo moto case.