A few months ago, local pharmaceutical companies halted the production of life-saving medicines. This came as a challenge to government’s decision of increased drug prices amid consumer unrest.

There is a need to reveal the other side of the story. Pharmaceutical companies are in no position to operate on the same scale of production after concerned hikes in other areas, mainly tariffs, taxes and etcetera.

Such macro-economic factors coupled with devaluation of the local currency and stringent DRAP regulations have resulted in local pharmaceuticals unable to continue

The decrease and slowing down on competition however, is beneficial to the public, and to an extent, to the pharmaceutical industry as well. Therefore, having a rate, which is feasible for both the industry and public, is a better option. Our police makers should consider such factors before a drug policy surfaces.

As far as the multinational companies are concerned, this pricing has also made it quite challenging. The difference is that the MNCs re backed by huge amounts of foreign direct investment. Research & Development (R&D), advanced patient-care, innovative therapies ant etc.

In the last couple of years, more than ten multinational pharmaceutical companies closed down operations in Pakistan.

As a thriving economy, we need to provide the industry a sustainable environment along with ease of doing business.

KIRAN FAROOQ,

Karachi, March 11.