ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has approved the prices of 113 new essential and life-saving drugs, most of which will be available for the first time in Pakistan.
Prices of 113 new drugs had been recommended by the Drug Pricing Committee which has representation of health departments in all provinces, the Ministry of Finance and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.
Pharmaceutical Industry representatives had also attended meetings of the Drug Pricing Committee as observers.
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The federal cabinet, in its meeting held on Tuesday, approved the summary for fixation of maximum retail price of essential and life-saving drugs.
Federal Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar welcomed the cabinet’s decision to approve fixation of maximum retail price of essential and life-saving drugs.
“This will ensure availability of life-saving drugs in the market,” she said, adding that the approval had been accorded in sync with the first-ever Drug Pricing Policy given by the PML-N government.
The minister said the federal cabinet approved maximum retail prices of drugs fixed in accordance with the provisions of the Drug Pricing Policy-2015 or lower prices as demanded by the manufacturers and importers.
The decision would allow marketing of new drugs which would not only ensure availability of new treatments for life threatening diseases but also increase competition in respect of already available therapies in the market, said the minister.
“We consider access to quality and affordable drugs as the right of every Pakistani and will continue to strive to this end,” she said.
The approval will ensure availability, at affordable prices, of new therapies for patients suffering from hepatitis C, patients on dialysis, umbilical cord infections in new born babies, vaccines for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and hepatitis B.
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These also include drugs for other diseases such as major depression, anxiety, ulcers, epilepsy, psoriasis, diabetes, hypertension, allergy, gastrointestinal pain, sickle cell anaemia, rickets disease and scurvy, deficiency iron, calcium, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, diarrhoea, bone osteoporosis, viral, fungal and bacterial infection, skin infections, asthma, pulmonary obstructive disease, lung injections, burnt skin infections, parkinsonism, rhinitis, haemorrhoids, hypertension, psychosis, dry eyes, diabetic insipidus, vertigo, prevention of bleeding, smoking cessation therapies, anaesthesia, vomiting in cancer patients, blood volume expansion, bone osteoporosis, contraception, anaemia and fertility.