Urges SAPM on Health to examine issues, initiate process to get real facts of missing data on local drugs.
ISLAMABAD – Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) on Thursday recommended the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) to address ambiguities in the pricing policy which allegedly cost citizens Rs25 billion.
The TIP in a letter written to Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on NHS Dr. Faisal Sultan, asked the ministry to respond to the allegations of manipulation in Drug Policy 2018 by Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) costing and pricing directorate of hiding the breakdown of mark-up/factor of 245% to 355% in the policy for locally-made drugs in formulae for hardship cases prices, which was 70% in Drug Pricing Policy 2018.
The TIP on complaints filed observed that Drug Pricing Policy 2015, 2018 prima facia, non-disclosure of components of mark-up of the cost of locally-made manufacturing from 70% in 2015 to 240% /355% had caused highest drug prices increase in Pakistan.
It also said that missing information of distribution in 13 components of 355% was hidden from cabinet while taking its approval in 2018, and from the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan on August 03, 2018.
It further said that the TI Pakistan had written a letter to secretary MoH on May 13 2019, on same issue of increase of the factor/mark-up on the cost of manufacturing from 70% in 2015 to 240% /355% by DRAP in 2018 was questioned, but no clarification had been received from the ministry of health.
The TI Pakistan giving its recommendations, requested the SAPM on health to examine the issues, ambiguities and initiate a process to get the real facts of missing data on locally-manufactured drugs from director costing & pricing.
It also said, “If the DRAP Costing & Pricing Directorate fails to justify an increase of the factor/mark-up on the cost of manufacturing from 70% in 2015 to 240 %/355% by DRAP in 2018, action may be taken against the department.”
It also said that immediate measures may be taken to reduce the mark-up/factor from 240%/355% back to 70% to give relief to the citizens of Pakistan, as the drug prices will be reduced at least by 200%.
The complainant alleged that a very serious act of getting approval of cabinet and also Supreme Court of Pakistan by DRAP Costing & Pricing Directorate of hiding the breakdown of mar-up/factor of mark-up/factor 45% for imported drugs in the formulae, but 245% to 355% in the policy of locally-made drugs in formulae for hardship cases price, which was 70%, deleting it in the appendix–II of the Drug Pricing Policy 2018.
It said that due to the non-transparent jacking-up of the factor/mark-up on the cost of manufacturing from 70% in 2015 to 240%/355% by DRAP in 2018, the drugs prices in Pakistan have increased by 400% in last three years, which has caused over Rs25 billion additional cost of drugs to citizen of Pakistan.
The complainant also alleged that drug pricing policy 2015 compromises 12 components of mark-up/factor, 70% of locally-manufactured drugs and 8 components of mark-up /factor 35% for imported drugs.
It said in drug pricing policy 2018, all 12 components in mark-up factor for locally-manufactured drugs are deleted and only 9 components of mark up/factor in 45% for imported drugs are stated