SHC gives one month time to DRAP to finalize drug pricing policy

September 9, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday gave one-month time to Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to finalize fresh drug pricing regulatory policy.

Two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar was hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and others against Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) that issued a notification withdrawing its earlier notification with immediate effect regarding hike in drug prices on the directives of Prime Minister.

During previous hearing, the court had directed DRAP to convene a meeting within 20 days from day of hearing and decide on proposed amendments in drug pricing regulatory policy by Senate committee. “The new draft shall instantly be sent to prime minister for consideration so that policy may be finalized, notified and enforced within a month thereafter,” the court ordered.

During hearing on Wednesday, the Amanullah, director pricing DRAP requested the court to allow some time so for compliance of its earlier order. The court observed, “Though there seems no justification for any further extension of time, we would by way of sheer indulgence grant one month time for compliance of the order but with a caution that in case the order is not still complied with appropriate orders shall be passed against those responsible for delay or non-compliance.”

The petitioner had stated that a meeting of policy board of DRAP was held on 23rd October 2013 and was attended by the government officials and representative of PPMA.

They said that in the meeting, it was decided that interim relief may be granted to the industrialists by increasing drug prices and a committee was constituted to deliberate on the matter in detail, analyze market data and disease prevalence in the country.

The petitioner stated that in view of decision of board and further deliberation by the committee, a notification was issued by DRAP, whereby 15 per cent hike was allowed in the price of every medicine, except lifesaving drugs. They said that later a notification was issued on directives of the prime minister withdrawing earlier notification on November 29, 2013.

They said that PM had no authority to pass any such order and added that the notification was issued illegally and without giving opportunity of hearing them. Therefore, they said that notification was liable to be suspended.

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