ISLAMABAD: While drawing attention to the severe shortage of fever and painkiller tablets, paracetamol in the country, the Pakistan Youth Pharmacists Association (PYPA) in a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif alleged that senior Pakistan Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) officials were bribed to register the globally banned paracetamol 665mg at an extremely exorbitant price in the country.
Furqan Ibrahim, secretary general of PYPA, in a letter to the Prime Minister, alleged that senior DRAP officials illegally authorized heavy advertising for the banned Panadol 665mg.
PYPA mentioned that Panadol 665mg was registered in Pakistan when European countries banned this drug across Europe. These are extremely diabolical affairs of the DRAP mafia; they don’t care about pakistani life just for money and register these drugs in pakistan which are banned all over the world due to severe side effects.
PYPA mentioned that by raising the price of Panadol and other such tablets, producers are likely to generate Rs 17.095 billion in annual profit.
PYPA’s letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which is available from Business Recorder, reads: “DRAP Mafia had the full support of Farah Khan (Ms Imran Khan presenter), Azam Khan, former Principal Secretary to the Prime minister, Arif Alvi, president of Pakistan, Imran Ismail, former governor of Sindh, Zahid Saeed (cousin of Imran Ismail and owner of Indus Pharma), Ansar Farooq, former adviser to the governor of Punjab (ephedrine seller of 9,000 kg), Pervez Elahi and former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar etc.”
PYPA further alleged that the Federal Secretary and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister accepted an alleged bribe of Rs 2 billion to register and award a price of Rs 5.68 per tablet to Panadol 665 mg in Pakistan.
It further states: “This refers to our letters dated: March 12, 2022, March 16, 2022, March 25, 2022, April 11, 2022, April 23, 2022, April 29, 2022 and media reports from March 14, 2022, March 18, 2022 2022, 22 March 2022 and 8 April 2022. DRAP Mafia (Dr Faisal Sultan former Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Aamir Ashraf Khawaja Secretary Ministry of National Health Services, Asim Rauf Director General DRAP, Obaidullah Acting Director Registration and Acting Director Admin DRAP, Sayed Hussain Deputy Director DRAP, Secretary of Abdullah Registration Board DRAP, Mr. Hafiz Bilal bin Akbar Deputy Director DRAP, Director Amanullah Pricing DRAP, entire DRAP Registration Board and entire Committee DRAP pricing allegedly accepted a Rs 2 billion bribe to register Panadol 665mg (which would be banned across Europe and unregistered in the US, Canada and Japan).
PYPA’s letter, while talking about the shortage of fever pills and painkillers in the country, said, “The drug (Panadol) is out of the market, the reason was very simple. When 01 paisa increases the price of Panadol, it means the profit increases by around Rs50 million per year. Over the past four years, the price has gone from Rs0.9 per pill to Rs1.7 per pill of Panadol, which means that 80×50 = Rs4 billion rupees per year. Demand for Panadol increased by the Covid-19 outbreak; lust increases.
The shortage of Panadol 500mg tablets in the market is a successful effort to convert patients to Panadol 665mg. When a patient goes to a pharmacy, the seller motivates the patient to use a better version of Panadol, i.e. Panadol extends 665mg. After calculating the price by the unit method, the price of Panadol 665mg per pill must be Rs2,261 which in the market is available at Rs5.68 per pill hence, Rs3,419 is a profit per pill.
PYPA prayed that a full criminal investigation could be launched against the DRAP Mafia, health officials, the National Health Services Secretary, the former Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and all pharmaceutical companies involved in the looting and gambling with the lives of Pakistanis; and the looted money can be recovered, and the advertising of Panadol 665mg on TV should be stopped immediately, and the money transferred out of Pakistan (money laundering) can be brought to Pakistan, and stop the DRAP to increase the price of Panadol 500mg; reduce the price of Panadol to 90 paisas per tablet, and Panadol 665 mg must be immediately withdrawn from the market.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022