ISLAMABAD: The Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) while taking notice of a news item carried by Business Recorder on May 6 titled, “DRAP received ‘bribe’ to register ‘globally-banned paracetamol’” has urged the government to start an inquiry against the officials concerned.
An official letter written by the TIP addressed to the Federal Minister for National Health Services and Regulations, Abdul Qadir Patel, a copy of which is available with this correspondent, says “TIP has received a complaint about an illegally engineered shortage of paracetamol in Pakistan to create space for a new, high-dosage variant of paracetamol, which is injurious to the health of citizens and being sold at three times higher price.”
The letter said TIP has examined the complaint and prima facie complainant allegations seem to be correct. It may be noted that Paracetamol 665mg is banned across Europe and in different countries and will bring serious health implications for Pakistani citizens.
TIP requests the federal minister National Health Services Regulations and Coordination to examine the allegations and if found to be correct, take immediate action to give relief to the citizens of Pakistan, as the paracetamol 500mg price will be reduced by at least over 500 per cent for the citizens along with its proper availability in the market.
TIP is striving for across the board application of Rule of Law, which is the only way to stop corruption, and achieve zero tolerance against corruption.
The complainant has made the following allegations that; (i) for more than a year, Pakistan has been continuously facing a shortage of paracetamol painkillers (ii) This shortage is being artificially created by the pharmaceutical companies to pave the wave for a new, high-dosage variant of the paracetamol medicine (iii) The new variant, ie, Panadol 665mg, which is banned in the world, is injurious to the health of people, but is being sold in Pakistan (iv) The price of Panadol 500mg tablet is Rs1.70, whereas, the 665mg variant of Panadol is being sold for as high as Rs5.68 (v) In the last four years, the price of Panadol I 500mg tablet has already increased from Rs.90 to Rs1.70 which means the new variant is being sold at an exorbitant price of more than 500 per cent (vi) By increasing the price of Panadol and other such tablets, the producers are likely to generate Rs17.095 billion in annual profit.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022