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Govt assures Senate of reviewing drug price hike

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan. — Radio Pakistan/Files

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday assured the senators that it would review the recent hike in the prices of medicine to facilitate the masses.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan was responding to a calling attention notice in Senate regarding the increase which has “overburdened” the people.

Khan said some market-driven factors caused an increase in the price of medicines. However, “the government would review these prices for the ease of people”.

Prices of 360 medicines were decreased by the incumbent government, but the medicine companies challenged it with the Sindh High Court, he said.

“The court has quashed most of their petitions and the government would do its best to bring down the prices,” he said.

The minister said that the PML-N government had introduced a policy during its tenure in May 2018 to fix prices of medicines and the incumbent government had no role in the price hike.

Last week, The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had stated that it had approved a 7% increase in the prices of essential drugs/biologicals and a 10% increase in other medicines.

The government had allowed a 5.14% increase in prices of essential medicines and biologicals whereas it had allowed a 7.3410% increase in prices of other medicines.

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