KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) appreciated the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) for stopping the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) from registering drugs without fixing their prices. The step has been taken in the light of the AGP’s special audit report of DRAP, which revealed many irregularities in the price-fixing by the said authority.
The report revealed that DRAP registered medicines without fixing prices due to which the drugs were being sold at very high rates under the Health and Over the Counter (HOTC) products. Even though several products fall in the category of drugs, they were being sold as vitamins and nutrition due to which their prices were not fixed.
After the AGP’s report, DRAP’s manipulation was revealed to the public. This manipulation was giving an undue incentive to the HOTC manufacturers, which lead to more investment in non-essential medicine. Furthermore, it discouraged the production of essential medication. This proved to be the reason why essential drugs were short in the market.
The PMA suggested the government to make a strict policy for the continuous monitoring of the DRAP because medicine pricing is a serious issue. The government should make sure drugs are readily available at affordable prices.