Record increase in medicine prices
During the past 6 months, there has been an increase of up to 70% in the prices of medicines in the country. According to private TV channels, insulin for diabetes patients has disappeared from the market in Karachi, and other life-saving medicines, including blood pressure medication, are being sold at inflated prices in the black market. The Health and Chemist Association has also confirmed that medicine prices have increased by 50 to 70% during the last 6 months, posing serious risks to human lives due to the non-seriousness of the authorities regarding this issue.
It should be noted that on August 24th of the past month, the prices of medicines in the country saw a significant increase, including announcements of new prices for blood pressure medication and artery-opening pills, which had a significant impact on the general public. It was reported that the government had set maximum prices for 25 medicines, and the prices of multiple life-saving medicines had also been increased.
After approval from the federal government, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had also issued notifications for new prices of various medicines. The notification stated that these medicines include injections, tablets, inhalers, syrups for various diseases, as well as the prices of new salts, formulations, and medicines for asthma, hypertension, and artery-opening pills were determined. Furthermore, the prices of injections for cancer treatment, Hepatitis C, and medicines for infections were also specified.
According to the notification, the new registered medicine for cancer treatment, Lorica, is priced at PKR 846,857, while the inhaler for asthma patients is priced at PKR 1,390. The price of hepatitis injections has been set at PKR 10,275, and the prices of 20 tablets of Piracetam and Diphenhydramine are PKR 192. The price of Chloroquine, used in malaria, is set at PKR 1,007. In addition, the price of the injection for cancer patients, Bortezomib, is PKR 17,513, and the medicine used for infections, Zerbexa, is priced at PKR 15,356.