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LAHORE: Punjab Governor Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman has said that he would summon the Punjab Assembly session upon receiving a requisition; however it should be held in a few days to form a new government.

He expressed these views while talking to media after inauguration of two-day 16th Pak Pharma and Healthcare Exhibition and Conference on Wednesday. The expo kicked off with the participation of more than 400 stalls and 100 foreign and local exhibitors. The mega event was organised by prime event management with the support of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA).

The Governor further said that they were thankful to Allah Almighty for providing them another opportunity to serve the masses. “We have done constitutional work in the previous governments too and we will continue to do it again,” he added.

He averred that the new government should continue with the initiative of the caretaker government to deregulate the prices of medicines and that regulation should not be so tight that the pharmaceutical companies start thinking of leaving the industry. “However, any regulation should also not be so weak that the companies start exploiting the masses; patients should not be exploited under any circumstances,” he added.

He recalled that during the tenure of PML-N government in 2013-18, the Prime Minister had rejected such summaries of increases in the prices of medicines. He lauded the efforts of prime event management and the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association for organising a successful expo. He was of the view that it was good that raw materials were being produced in Pakistan too; however, there was still room for technology and exports in the pharma sector. Earlier, the Governor visited various stalls and interacted with the representatives of local and foreign companies.

On this occasion, PPMA Chairman Mian Misbah-ur-Rehman told the media that Pakistan was the only country where the government was still fixing prices of medicines and drugs, and now the government’s permission to the pharmaceutical companies to fix prices except life-saving drugs would follow the World Health Organization (WHO) standards. He further said that the prices of more than 450 medicines which do not fall in the ambit of the essential drugs list of the WHO being determined by government bodies. He pointed out that the Indian government regulates the prices of only 360 medicines.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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