ISLAMABAD: The government is all set to increase the price of paracetamol tablets on demand of manufacturers of paracetamol products who have sought the increase to offset the sharp increase in raw materials, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
Section 12 of the Drugs Act 1976 (Annex-l) and Section 7 of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Act, 2012 empowers the federal government to fix the Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) of drugs to be sold in the market. Further, the drug price fixation mechanism has been detailed in Drug Pricing Policy 2018 and amended with the approval of Federal Government of July 15, 2020.
Drug Pricing Committee (DPC) of DRAP constituted on August 5, 2013 is empowered to fix and review maximum retail prices of drugs subject to approval by the federal government.
The Drug Pricing Committee (DPC) in its 50th meeting held on January 12, 2022 recommended an increase in MRPs of six drugs containing paracetamol and its combinations.
The recommendations of the DPC were not approved by the federal Cabinet in its meeting held on August 16, 2022. The federal Cabinet in its meeting held on September 13, 2022, while rejecting another summary to increase MRPs of 10 drugs, directed the FBR to immediately exempt all duty and taxes on import of APIs for paracetamol.
A summary to solicit approval of exemption of pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from customs duty was considered by the ECC of the Cabinet in its meeting held on September 21, 2022.
After deliberations, it was noted that exemption of APIs from customs duty will discourage the local manufacturing of APIs and it will not help resolve the issue of shortage of paracetamol tablets. Therefore, it was considered appropriate to increase the MRP of paracetamol 500 mg tablets by 80 paisa per tablet to Rs 267 from its current approved MRP of Rs 1.87 and to increase the MRP of paracetamol suspension/syrup by Rs 12.18 per pack of 120 ml to Rs 117 from its current approved MRP of Rs 104.82.
The prime minister while chairing an online meeting via video link of the authorities concerned to review the pace of various flood relief and rehabilitation activities in the flooded areas directed that provision of subsidy for three months may be worked out by Ministry of Finance and Ministry of NHS, R&C to keep the price of paracetamol stable in the market.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023