ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar on Thursday said the government will finalize a concrete policy for pricing of drugs in the country.
Answering questions of members during Question Hour, she informed the House that the government has been facing this issue off and on and has now decided to introduce a comprehensive pricing mechanism for drugs.”This concrete policy will be finalized by the end of current year.”
She said pricing is done through a committee comprising members from provinces, PMA and PPMA keeping in view international pricing trends and those in regional countries.
Answering a supplementary question regarding devolution of health ministry and pricing of drugs, she said, pricing was not devolved to provinces and it is being done at federal level to ensure uniformity of drugs prices at all provinces and regions.
She also stated that local manufacturers are encouraged in drugs registration and fixing prices. However, she informed that when the government tries to move against those companies overcharging in drugs prices, they move the courts. “Even at present there are 18 companies who have got stay orders from the Supreme Court.”
When asked about hindrances in import of drugs for Hepatitis C, the minister said, this medicine has been registered. There had been the issue of pricing which has also been resolved and its import will hopefully start within next few days.
She also assured the House to keep check on prices of drugs to facilitate the poor people in the country.