Health minister lays foundation of Mother and Child Hospital in capital

Kiani oversees raid on a pharmaceutical firm’s warehouse to seize seven overpriced drugs

Our Correspondent April 09, 2019
Kiani oversees raid on a pharmaceutical firm’s warehouse to seize seven overpriced drugs. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Federal Health Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani on Monday laid the foundation stone for a 40-bed Mother and Child Hospital for the rural population of the federal capital.

“We recognise the role of mothers in building a healthy nation. Mother and child are, therefore, at the top of our agenda in health,” Kiani said while laying the foundation for the hospital in Bara Kahu area of the city.

He went on to add that the first 1,000 days of a child's life are the most critical.

“Our mission is to provide the best possible facilities to mother and children,” the health minister said, adding that the hospital will provide services around the clock for gynaecology and obstetrics to over 100,000 people who live in the area and some 500,000 people who live in adjoining areas.

The health minister added that the hospital is being built with support from the South Asian Association of Regional Countries (Saarc) SAARC Development Fund.

The 40-bed mother and child hospital will feature modern facilities. Work on the project has been initiated by the Pakistan Public Works Department (PWD) PWD and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2019.

Kiani also appreciated the support from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partner agencies.

The health minister said that to improve monitoring and planning, a District Health Information System has been established in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

Overpriced drugs seized

The federal health minister on Monday oversaw a raid by the Federal Inspector of Drugs (FID) on a warehouse of a pharmaceutical company in Islamabad. Stocks of seven medicines were seized for overpricing.

With the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) seizing stocks across the country of as many as 100 medicines from different manufacturers who had raised prices, Kiani said that unauthorised increase in the prices of medicines was a violation of the law.

He added that Drap has been directed to take strict action against those manufacturers who were printing a higher price than those notified by the apex drug regulator as the maximum retail price (MRPs)

In this regard, the federal inspector of drugs in Islamabad inspected the warehouse of a pharmaceutical company and checked the prices of various medicines sold to distributors, retailers and patients and seized seven medicines which were found to be overpriced. He also registered cases against the manufacturer in accordance with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Act 2012, Drugs Act 1976 and rules framed thereunder.

Kiani directed Drap to take strict action against the companies found involved in the overpricing and unauthorized increase in the MRPs of their medicines.

“Unauthorized increase in the prices of medicine will not be tolerated,” he said.

Drap Chief Executive Officer Asim Rauf said that they had registered 284 cases over the last few days against companies for overpricing during market surveillance across the country.

Details obtained from the health officials showed that Drap had confiscated stocks of around 100 medicines from markets across the country, including stocks of stomach pain medicine, medicine for diabetics, anti-allergens, vitamin supplements, relaxants and others. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2019.

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