PPMA seeks an increase in prices of 262 drugs

Press Release 10:22 AM, 12 Dec, 2023
PPMA seeks an increase in prices of 262 drugs

KARACHI: The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA) has urged the interim federal government to promptly approve a reasonable price increase for 262 medicines, by approving the applications pending for 18 months, to avoid the risk of essential drugs shortage in the local market.

PPMA Central Chairman Mian Khalid Misbah-ur-Rehman conveyed this demand during a press conference, flanked by the association’s former chairmen Zahid Saeed and Kaiser Waheed, along with other office-bearers.

Rehman stressed the urgent need for price revisions on these medicines, citing the significant increase in production costs due to record inflation and a notable rise in the dollar exchange rate since the last approved increase when the dollar was less than Rs200.

He cautioned that further delays in approving price increases could lead multinational pharmaceutical companies to halt operations in Pakistan, undermining the government's efforts to attract foreign investment.

Expressing concern about the unavailability of over 100 essential drugs in the market, Rehman warned of adverse effects on patients if the situation worsens. He stressed the risk to the sustainability of the Pakistani pharmaceutical industry, which currently satisfies up to 95pc of the country's demand for medicines.

He said there was an urgent need for a review of the drug pricing system, considering that up to 95pc of raw materials for medicines are imported, and their prices increase with the devaluation of the rupee.

Furthermore, he underscored that Pakistan's annual pharmaceutical exports, currently at approximately $300 million, could potentially reach $5 billion with consistent implementation of favorable policies and support for the adoption of state-of-the-art production technologies in the drug industry.