A parliamentary panel on Monday directed the National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC) Ministry to streamline the working of the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) within a month.
The National Assembly Subcommittee of the Standing committee on NHRC expressed reservations on the overall performance of DRAP since its establishment.
Members recommended that directors who were appointed illegally should be removed immediately and a permanent chief executive officer (CEO) should be hired.
MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani said there was a proper procedure for increasing prices according to which a summary is sent to the prime minister but DRAP increased prices by 15 per cent price of all the registered drugs on their own. The PM directed it to de-notify the price hike,” he said.
“Currently, 31 cases out of 51 related to drug pricing are in the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court.” He also asked DRAP members to explain how a pharmaceutical company whose drug had claimed many lives had been issued a licence.
While responding to parliamentarians’ concerns, Arshad Khan, acting CEO of DRAP informed members there were 126 posts, of which only 46 were filled, because of the ban imposed by the government on fresh recruitment and absence of service rules. “The draft of DRAP service rules is with the ministries of finance and law.
The panel’s chairman, MNA Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan said there was a need to visit all pharmaceutical factories and monitor their operations to find out on what basis they were issued licences if they fail to produce quality medicines.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2014.