On the anvil: Drug pricing policy soon, says minister

Local manufacturers have been encouraged to register their drugs for price fixing, says Saira Afzal Tarar


APP January 15, 2015
Asked about hindrances in import of drugs for Hepatitis C, the minister said that the medicine had been registered. “Pricing issue been resolved and its import will hopefully start in a few days,” she said, assuring the house to keep a check on drug prices. PHOTO: NNI

ISLAMABAD:


Minister of State for Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar said on Thursday that the federal government will finalise a drugs pricing policy this year.            


Answering a question during the question hour session in the National Assembly, she said that the policy had been pending for a long time. “The policy will be finalised by the end of this year,” she said.

Answering a supplementary question regarding devolution of the health ministry and pricing of drugs, she said the pricing was not devolved to provinces. It was being done at the federal level to ensure uniformity of prices across the country.

She also said that local manufacturers have been encouraged to register their drugs for price fixing. “Whenever the government takes action against companies overcharging, they move courts and get stay orders,” she said, adding that at present around 18 companies have got stay orders from the Supreme Court.

Asked about hindrances in import of drugs for Hepatitis C, the minister said that the medicine had been registered. “Pricing issue been resolved and its import will hopefully start in a few days,” she said, assuring the house to keep a check on drug prices.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2015.

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