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Govt reduces price of experimental Covid-19 drug

Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has said that the price of Remdesivir, an experimental drug used for the treatment of Covid-19, has been reduced to Rs8,400 from Rs10,873.

Remdesivir, a drug developed by Gilead Sciences, has grabbed attention as one of the most promising treatments for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by novel coronavirus.

He announced this while addressing a joint press conference along with Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Tuesday following the federal cabinet's meeting in Islamabad.

Explaining the price mechanism of drugs, the SAPM said many life-saving drugs have run out from market after pharmaceutical companies were not allowed to increase their prices.

“We are paying higher prices of smuggled drugs but not ready to accept the rational increase in their prices,” he remarked.

Dr Faisal said the government has allowed increasing the prices of 94 drugs to ensure their availability in the market.

“If the cost of production is higher than the retail price then why would any company continue its production,” he added.

The drug pricing committee takes into account all facts including the international prices of medicine and the cost of raw material to allow hike in medicine prices, said Dr Fasial.

Senator Shibli, speaking on the occasion, said the government’s decision to increase the prices of drugs will actually aim at reducing their prices while ensuring their quality and standard.

“After this decision, the companies will start their local production which will ultimately meet the demand and people will not be compelled to buy these in black market,” he added.

 

Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz and PM's aide on health Dr Faisal Sultan addressing a joint news conference at PID in islamabad

Posted by Express Tribune on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

 

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