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Government permits drug manufacturers to raise drug prices

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Friday, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet acceded to pharma companies’ long-standing request to permit an increase in the cost of medications. The meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, discussed the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination’s summary regarding the increase in the maximum retail price of drugs in response to the Policy Board of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan’s (DRAP) recommendations in light of inflation and the devaluation of the Pakistani rupee.

The meeting approved a one-time dispensation that permits manufacturers and importers to raise their current maximum retail prices (MRPs) for essential medications by up to 70 percent of the CPI (with a cap of 14 percent) and the MRPs for all other medications and lower-cost medications by up to 70 percent of the CPI (with a cap of 20 percent) on the basis of the average CPI for the current fiscal year.

The condition that it be treated as an annual increase for the fiscal year 2023–2024 and that no increase under this category be given in the following fiscal year was included in the ECC’s approval of the increase.

 

The Policy Board was also instructed by the ECC to examine the situation three months later and suggest the federal government to lower prices if the local currency appreciated.

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