Amid ‘Circumstances Beyond Control’, Pakistan’s Pharma Companies Write to Govt on Raw Material Price Hike
Last Updated: February 07, 2023, 10:25 IST
Pakistan’s prevailing foreign exchange crisis, which has touched an eight-year low of $4.3 billion, has also affected the production of medicines. (Photo: AFP File)
The letter, written to the government and Drug Regulatory Authority Of Pakistan, stated the pharmaceutical industry is devastated as prices of active pharmaceutical ingredients such as raw materials used in the manufacturing of drugs have increased exponentially in the international market
Pakistan, which is in economic turmoil and seeking bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is seeing its pharmaceutical sector crashing with the hike in the prices of raw materials amid currency devaluation.
The industry experts have written a letter to the federal minister and Drug Regulatory Authority Of Pakistan (DRAP) officials regarding their concerns.
The letter stated that the pharmaceutical industry is suffering a devastating blow as the prices of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) such as raw materials used in the manufacturing of drugs increased exponentially in the international market.
The industry continuously drew the attention of the federal government and the DRAP towards the denial of access of patients and the public at large to safe, effective, potent, beneficial, efficacious and economical drugs.
The letter also stated, “In view of the foregoing and being compelled and constrained by the circumstances beyond the control of the pharmaceutical industry, it has become completely unsustainable to manufacture medicines and ensure their availability beyond the next 7 days.”
It is to be noted that the Pakistani rupee has devalued by more than 67% against the US dollar since July, 2020.
The factors of production such as cost of fuel, electricity, freight charges and packing material have witnessed an unprecedented increase during the same period.
Citizens are already facing more than 1000% hike in prices of common drugs because of closure of trade routes between India and Pakistan.
Pakistan’s prevailing foreign exchange crisis, which has touched an eight-year low of $4.3 billion, has also affected the production of medicines. As many as 770 drug producers are impacted by the medicine shortage crisis.
Due to the ongoing crisis, Pakistan is unable to buy basic imports, including medicine, and active pharmaceutical ingredients, vaccines and products for treatment of cancer, according to the reports by The Express Tribune.
Pakistan is seeking $1.1 billion from the IMF as part of its $6 billion bailout package to avoid default. Negotiations with the IMF on reviving the bailout started on January 31.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had also warned of “tough time” as his government struggles to keep up with the IMF conditions to release the next instalment for the loan package.
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