DRAP to fur­ther drag pric­ing is­sue

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

SALIM AHMED LAHORE—To com­pound the mis­eries of pa­tients, DRAP has come up with an­other way to drag the drug pric­ing is­sue fur­ther by re­vert­ing to the base prices of drugs prior to in­crease of 15% al­lowed on Novem­ber 27, 2013 for price ne­go­ti­a­tions. The drug pric­ing pol­icy was fi­nal­ized and ap­proved in march 2015, and the DRAP had al­ready in­creased the drug prices af­ter a long pe­riod of 10 years by only 1.5% per an­num on Novem­ber 27, 2013 to pro­vide in­terim re­lief to the ail­ing pharma in­dus­try. Though the PM took back the in­crease but pharma com­pa­nies moved to the court to get a stay or­der against the de­ci­sion, restor­ing the new prices.

It has been learnt that SHC has cat­e­gor­i­cally di­rected DRAP and Min­istry for pro­vid­ing min­utes of last two pric­ing com­mit­tee meet­ings and di­rected to hold DPC in or­der to re­solve the is­sue of non avail­abil­ity of es­sen­tial drugs. More­over, the SHC or­dered to con­tinue the in­terim in­junc­tion granted to the com­pa­nies and di­rected the DRAP to de­cide the con­cerned hard­ship cases within a pe­riod of 15 days and to place a com­pli­ance re­port/de­ci­sion be­fore the court for its re­view. There­fore, the drug pric­ing com­mit­tee of Drug Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity of Pak­istan (DRAP) is hold­ing its 16th meet­ing on May 4th.

Sources in the in­dus­try claim that as per past prac­tice the DRAP is not will­ing to lose con­trol over the pric­ing is­sue and is try­ing to cir­cum­vent the court or­der by plac­ing a price list for dis­cus­sion show­ing prices prior to Nov 2013 thus ini­ti­at­ing a non end­ing de­bate yet again over the le­git­i­macy of the agenda list to fur­ther tan­gle the de­bate and pro­long the is­sue.

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