ISLAMABAD: The government has directed Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination not to further liaise with Pakistan High Commission in Bangladesh as price of Remdesivir quoted by the latter is higher than in Pakistan.
On March 27, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination informed the ECC that section 12 of the Drug Act, 1976 and section 7 of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Act, 2012 empower the federal government to fix maximum retail prices (MRPs) of drugs to be sold in the market.
The MRP of Remdesivir 100 mg injection was fixed with the approval of federal cabinet from time to time, in pursuance of consultation with the Commercial Secretary, Pakistan High Commission, Dhaka and the last price was fixed by reducing it to Rs 1892 per vial.
Medicine makers call for price hike
Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination further noted that on September 27, 2022, Deputy High Commissioner, Pakistan High Commission Dhaka, had stated that Beximo Pharmaceutical Bangladesh quoted the revised price of Remdesivir 100 mg injection at $ 10.5 CIF Karachi per vial.
The MRP of Remdesivir 100 mg injection in Bangladesh was Rs 2411 per vial which was higher than the existing MRP in Pakistan at Rs 1892 per vial.
The Policy Board in its 44th meeting held on December 8, 2022 considered the matter and made the following recommendations: (i) MRP of Remdesivir 100 mg injection shall remain fixed as per existing MRP at Rs 1892 per vial may not be increased; (ii) further liaison with Bangladesh High Commission may not be continued as the price intimated by the Pakistan High Commission in Bangladesh is now higher than MRP of Remdesivir in Pakistan; and (iii) Remdesivir 100 mg injection price will be monitored/dealt as per Drug Pricing Policy 2018 in future.
The decision of ECC will be ratified by the federal cabinet in its forthcoming meeting.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023