Response: Pharma body fends off allegations against companies

Published: December 8, 2013
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"Pharmaceutical companies are not involved in illegal practices, like pasting of new price tags, repackaging or scratching old prices," Pharma Bureau spokesperson. PHOTO: FILE

"Pharmaceutical companies are not involved in illegal practices, like pasting of new price tags, repackaging or scratching old prices," Pharma Bureau spokesperson. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

Pharmaceutical companies in the country have not increased the prices of any of their drugs and are strictly following the old prices despite facing severe challenges, a Pharma Bureau statement said yesterday.

Pharma Bureau is a representative body of multinational companies operating in Pakistan. It stated that the allegation on pharmaceutical companies, concerning an arbitrary price hike of drugs, are baseless.

“Pharmaceutical companies are not involved in any illegal practices that include pasting of new price tags, repackaging or scratching old prices from the drugs,” said a Pharma Bureau spokesperson. “The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) should investigate the matter and find the perpetrators taking advantage of this situation and blaming the pharmaceutical companies.

“The companies are selling their products at the rates allowed by the government and welcome any investigation in this regard.

“It’s true that we are in a state of emergency but it does not mean we will indulge in such illicit activities, otherwise it is pointless to repeatedly ask the government to raise the drug prices that have been on a freeze for more than 12 years now.”

The spokesperson also pointed out that the pharmaceutical industry has repetitively requested the government to devise a balanced pricing policy which allows a price increase linked to either the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or inflation adjustments.

There has been no price increase in the last 12 years and the situation has resulted in the closure of five major multinationals and many local companies, as their profit margins fell drastically.

The spokesperson said the industry was hopeful that the prime minister would review his decision of disallowing the 15% increase in prices.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2013.

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