Several pharmaceutical companies in Lahore have reportedly planned on shutting down their factories. This has been done fearing the aggravation of the medicine shortage in Punjab.
The companies have expressed their inability to continue production citing the unavailability of raw materials. Another reason is the indecision in their cases against price increases.
The health ministry on the other hand has held out an assurance that it would be made sure by the Government that no shortage of medicines happens in the country.
On Monday, a total of 40 companies informed the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) that they are going to cease production in a week. A major reason is the unavailability of raw materials.
Pharmaceutical industry fears shortage of medicines if govt does not intervene— Investify Pakistan (@investifypk) February 11, 2023
Several multinational firms for example, fear being forced to suspend manufacturing.#news #pakistan #investify https://t.co/HDxpo403lL
Furthermore, it was claimed that their cases seeking an increase in the prices under the‘ hardship category’ were not being resolved by courts. Under the category of ‘hardship,’ companies can file court cases to increase the prices if the production cost is way beyond the maximum sale price.
Syed Farooq Bukhari, the Chairman of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association while talking to the media said, “PPMA had demanded a 28.5 percent across-the-board increase in prices. In 2018, one US dollar was around Rs140 but now, due to the depreciation of the rupee, that value has increased to around Rs270. Because of this situation, 40 companies have written letters to the health ministry that they will not be able to continue production of medicines [after] one week.”
This fearing shortage of medicine can prove to be really destructive for people admitted to hospitals in Punjab i.e. Model Town Hospital, Rabbani hospital, and Shalamar Hospital.
When contacted by the Ministry of Health Services Director General Dr. Baseer Khan Achakzai, he said that “the ministry would take appropriate actions and the Government will make sure that there is no shortage of medicines in Pakistan”.