Drug business: NAB arrests 8 involved in mega corruption

The accused wrongfully derived financial benefits by eight pharmaceutical companies, says statement


Our Correspondent November 23, 2016
The accused wrongfully derived financial benefits by eight pharmaceutical companies, says statement

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi on Tuesday arrested eight persons allegedly involved in a mega corruption case.

According to a NAB press release, the accused have wrongfully derived financial benefits by eight pharmaceutical companies/firms on the basis of price increase to the tune of approximately Rs1,078.08 million out of which an amount of Rs400 million has already been recovered.

The accused included: Dr Muhammad Ali (the then secretary-cum-member Drugs Pricing Committee); former member pricing (BPS-21) DRAP; Ahsan Feroze, director of M/s Maple Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd; Arif Aziz Akhai, proprietor M/s Akhai Agencies; Amir Saddique, director of Excel Health Care Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd; Saif-ur-Rehman and Khalil-ur-Rehman, directors of M/s Galaxy Pharma (Pvt) Ltd; Rizwan Umer and Muqtadir M A Javaid, directors of M/s Martin Dow Ltd.

According to the investigation report of Muhammad Saleem Ahmad Khan, Investigation Officer, NAB Rawalpindi, submitted in court, the members of Drug Pricing Committee with the connivance of beneficiary pharmaceutical companies/firms extended undue financial benefits to pharmaceutical companies/firms in the shape of illegal and unjustified price increase of their drugs through DPC meeting held on 09-10-2012 and 22-01-2013 and subcommittee meeting held on 19-11-2012.

“The wrongful financial benefits derived by the eight pharmaceutical companies/firms on the basis of price increase through the above said meetings comes to approximately Rs1,078.08 million till 30-6-2015 (out of which one pharma company M/s RG Pharmaceutical (Pvt) Ltd., returned an amount of Rs385.12 million after deducting retailer and distributor margin.”

“The illegal benefit is perpetually being gained by the pharmaceutical companies/firms who submitted inflated invoices/incorrect/incomplete costing data and were selling their drugs on prices which were illegally increased by the members of DPC.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2016.

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