KARACHI: Senate Standing Committee on National Regulations and Services has stressed on the formulation of a pricing formula for drugs by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) as a first basic step to determine prices of medicines in Pakistan.
In a meeting, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan demanded that to investigate artificial increase in prices of 37 medicines through “hardship cases”, the case should be sent to the Federal Investigation Agency for inquiry.
Khan was of the view that the proposed pricing formula will ensure a fall in prices of the drugs produced in the country up to 70%.
In the meeting, Khan emphasised that the base of pricing formulae should be “quality products at affordable price”.
When he suggested that the scrutiny of 500 drug manufacturers should be done on the basis of good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliance, the Minister of National Regulations and Services (NRS) directed the Secretary NRS to form a GMP Compliance Committee immediately.
It was suggested that price rationalisation initiative shall be applied as a top priority based on whether the product is branded or not. Formula applied for calculating the selling price should be based on the premise that manufacturing cost should be 20% of the ex-factory price.
To improve the quality of medicines, use of API based on current pharmacopoeia standards shall be strictly enforced.
The committee showed its dissatisfaction over non-conformity of any formula adopted for registration of drug prices. It was said that disparity factor existed in drug prices throughout the country.
In terms of hardship cases, Amanullah, director (Costing and Pricing) told the committee that no set formula was available. Thereafter, a comparative analysis of five different pricing formulae was displayed.
The issues were unanimously recommended by the committee and it was suggested that the Ministry of NRS may also consider the formulae proposed by the committee, Pharma Bureau and Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2013.
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