ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The Ministry of Health has notified new prices for paracetamol, a generic drug to reduce pain and fever which disappeared from the market after manufacturers said they could not make tablets and syrups based on paracetamol due to rising production costs.
The notification, released on Thursday, came nearly a week after the Finance Ministry gave the green light to pharmaceutical companies to raise paracetamol prices by more than 25%.
Prior to this, on October 21, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Pakistan Ltd suspended manufacturing of its flagship product Panadol, which uses paracetamol as its raw material, saying it had become unsustainable to produce the drug over-the-counter with negative margins.
On Thursday, the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) welcomed the rise in paracetamol prices but called on the government to also raise the prices of other drugs whose manufacture has become unsustainable in the face of to the increase in production.
Pack of 200 tablets of 500mg to cost Rs470; OICCI says major pharmaceutical companies are leaving Pakistan due to delays in ‘fair compensation’ for cost hikes
According to the notification, seen by Dawnthe Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap), with government approval, has set maximum retail prices for paracetamol and authorized its sale at new rates.
He said a pack of 200 paracetamol tablets (500 milligrams) would be sold for Rs470, translating to Rs2.35 per tablet. Additionally, a pack of 100 tablets of paracetamol plus caffeine (500mg/65mg) will sell for Rs 275, or Rs 2.75 per tablet. The paracetamol suspension (160mg/5ml) having a 120ml bottle will be sold for Rs117.60.
PPMA President Syed Farooq Bukhari welcomed the price review and hoped it would ensure the uninterrupted supply of paracetamol and end its black market sales at exorbitant prices.
“Big companies are leaving Pakistan”
Meanwhile, the Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) said long delays in fair compensation for rising costs had led two major multinational pharmaceutical companies – Sanofi and Bayer – to liquidate their operations in the UK. Pakistan, what the chamber said would be unfavorable. affect foreign direct investment (FDI) entering the country.
In a recent letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the OICCI said its members over the past 10 years had invested more than $21 billion in Pakistan from their own resources to promote the country as an FDI destination, considering that he received less than a third. of its potential.
Foreign investors in Pakistan who are members of OICCI have found it difficult to run their operations smoothly due to “prevailing uncertainty in the business environment and lack of timely decision-making by various authorities government,” OICCI President Ghias Khan said in the letter.
“Pharmaceutical and petroleum marketing companies, in particular, have genuine concerns which … need to be addressed on a priority basis in order to boost the confidence of major foreign investors, existing and potential, in Pakistan,” he said.
The OICCI said denying a “legitimate price increase” to research-based global pharmaceutical companies represented in Pakistan – such as GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Novartis and Pfizer – was one of the most critical issues for foreign investors.
These companies, according to the chamber, have also written to the Ministry of Health and Drap asking for a one-time, generalized increase in drug prices to mitigate the severe repercussions of the devaluation of the rupee and rising inflation. on the industry.
“As drug prices in Pakistan are the lowest in the region, the long delays in fairly compensating cost increases have led some of the overseas partners, such as Sanofi of France and Bayer of Germany, to announce their exit. of Pakistan and others may also consider a similar course of action,” the letter read.
Posted in Dawn, November 4, 2022