Abbasi seeks plan to extend PM’s health programme

Directs health ministry to further simplify registration of drugs and pricing policy


Our Correspondent August 19, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has directed the Ministry of National Health Services to come up with a comprehensive plan to expand the outreach of the PM’s National Health Programme across the country with special focus on providing relief to poor segments of society.

Chairing a meeting at the Prime Minister Office on Friday, Abbasi directed the ministry to further simplify the regulatory mechanism for registration of drugs and the pricing policy to facilitate drug manufacturers and create a win-win situation for the consumers, drugs producers and importers.

PM’s health project now covers 26 districts

Taking notice of the existing backlog in the registration and price fixation of various drugs, the PM directed the ministry to present a roadmap within 24 hours with specified timeline for clearing the backlog.

He called for placing before the Cabinet comprehensive proposals and any legislation for addressing the issues and improving the drugs regulatory regime in the country.

Discussing the issues concerning the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), the PM observed that regulatory policies should aim at facilitating local and international drugs manufacturers as well as promoting healthy competition among producers.

PM’s health programme expands to 14 more districts

Briefing the PM on the occasion, Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar said that the government had undertaken major reforms, especially in the last over two years in diverse areas.

She said the reforms included introduction of a comprehensive Drug Pricing Policy, launching of PM’s National Health Programme, and increase in coverage of children vaccinated under the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, resulting in significant reduction in polio cases in the country.

The minister also mentioned the launch of PM’s National Health Programme for the treatment of fatal diseases, besides successful negotiation under the National Immunisation Support Programme for financial sustainability of immunisation services for women and children.

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She said that the PM's National Health Programme – introduced in 26 districts in the first phase – would cover more than three million families, being the largest public health initiative in the country.

Prime Minister Abbasi appreciated the progress being made under the National Health Programme and directed the ministry to work closely with the provincial governments in order to expand its outreach.

Senior officials of the ministry also attended the meeting.

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