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Nationwide crackdown by DRAP, overpriced medicines confiscated

ISLAMABAD: According to recent reports, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) recently seized the stocks of overpriced medicines in various cities during a nationwide crackdown.

According to details, a team of federal drug inspectors raided the drug line pharma wholesale market in Multan and sealed the wholesale pharma on overpricing.

In the drug line pharma wholesale market, the blood pressure medicine “Adalt” packet of 20 tablets, was being sold for Rs1200 instead of Rs170, while the packet of 30 tablets of “Adalt LA 30” was being sold for Rs1900 instead of Rs457. Moreover, “Acetazolamide” was being sold for Rs1350 instead of Rs62.

Special Assistant to the PM on National Health Services, Dr Zafar Mirza, said the crackdown against those involved in the unauthorized increase of prices of medicine had started all over the country, and strict action would be taken against such elements.

He warned that the people involved in the business of unregistered and fake medicines and demanding higher prices for medicines than the agreed rates would be dealt with an iron fist.

“The right of the state will be maintained at all costs,” said Mirza while addressing the opening ceremony of the training course of the DRAP inspectors on inspection of medicines as per the World Health Organization standards.

The PM’s aide said that the government was determined to provide quality medicines to the public, and the availability of life-saving drugs will be ensured at all costs. Strict action would be taken against those involved in illegal activities, he stated

He also said the government is going to introduce the first national medicine policy to resolve issues pertaining to medicine manufacturing, and its draft will be prepared by the end of the next month. All provinces and stakeholders will be consulted in the formation of the policy, he added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) wants every country to boost its regulatory authority to improve the process of medicine manufacturing, he added.

“It is compulsory for the WHO to take the country’s concerned inspectors along with them while inspecting any country. This is the reason why our inspectors must be trained,” said Mirza.

On license issuance to pharmaceutical companies, he said some companies were not capable enough to be given licenses, and the products of such companies were proving to be harmful.

Such medicines were risky and might kill people, and hence, such companies need to be stopped as no compromise will be made on public health, he stressed.

He said, “The trained inspectors will prove to be useful in monitoring the medicine manufacturing companies and its inspection.”

DRAP, CEO, Dr Asim Rauf, said the training of drug inspectors would improve the inspection of medicine manufacturing companies. “For the first time, drug inspectors would be provided with training according to the WHO standards which would enhance theirs kills,” said Rauf.

He added that they want to increase the quality of the drugs as the protection of the patients could only be ensured this way.

October 23, 2019

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