Pharma industry assured of increase in drug prices.

ISLAMABAD -- Government officials have assured representatives of pharmaceutical companies that drug prices would be raised soon in keeping with the jump in manufacturing costs over the past couple of years.

The assurance was given by officials of the Drug Regulatory Authority of PakisAtan (Drap) to office-bearers of the PharAAma Bureau and the Pakistan PharmaceuAtical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) during meetings on Tuesday.

The Pharma Bureau represents multinational pharmaceutical companies while the PPMA is an umbrella body of local firms.

A joint delegation of the two organisations held meetings at the offices of Drap and the Special Health Secretary in Islamabad and apprised them that while a number of medicines were already unavailable, the entire pharma sector was in danger of running out of stock if the industry's problems were not addressed urgently.

The deliberations came just a day before a meeting of the Drug Pricing Committee (DPC) is due on Wednesday (today).

Usman Shaukat, a member of the central executive committee (CEC) of PPMA, told Dawn that 'we informed the Special Health Secretary Nasiruddin Mashhood and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Drap, Dr Asim Rauf, about the depleted stocks of raw materials and finished products.

'We said the industry is on the verge of collapse as some companies are already out of stock while others will exhaust their raw material within a few weeks.' The Pharma Bureau and PPMA called for a 38.5pc increase in drug prices across the board,' Mr Shaukat said.

The delegation later had a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister for Health Services Abdul...

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