The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistani (DRAP) has notified of the prices of 253 drugs through SRO 967(I)/2020 dated 5th October, 2020. The decision has been announced after the approval of the Federal Government.
The media cell of the federal government also issued a clarification letter on the subject saying, “It is clarified that maximum retail prices of 253 new drugs have been notified vide SRO 967(I)/2020 dated 5th October, 2020 after approval by the Federal Cabinet. These prices were recommended by the Drug Pricing Committee (DPC) and were pending for approval. After the recommendation of Task Force on Health, the matter was placed before the Cabinet and after receipt of minutes of the Cabinet, notification was issued. It is further clarified that there is no increase in the prices of these 253 drugs.”
Earlier, in July this year, the federal government took away the drug pricing power from pharmaceutical companies. As per news reports, Prime Minister Imran Khan, who also holds the portfolio of Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, advised the federal cabinet to grant approval for putting an end to all provisions of Drug Pricing Policy, 2018 which contradict Section 12 of Drugs Act, 1976.
The then Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza was reported to have opposed the decision, while the Ministry of Health Secretary Aamir Ashraf Khawaja had favored it.
After the cabinet’s approval, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination now determine drug prices on the applications of pharmaceutical companies and issue notifications regarding price changes, such as the latest SRO.