Minister holds past govts responsible for increase in medicine prices

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ISLAMABAD : Minister of State for Parliament Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan on Friday said the government trying to ensure the availability of quality medicines to the people at reasonable rates.

Responding to a calling attention notice in the Senate, Ali Muhammad Khan said that governments in past gave the right to hike medicine prices to the pharmaceutical companies.

He asked the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to clarify why the pharmaceutical companies were given the right to increase prices of the medicine on their own?The minister accepted that prices of few medicines have been increased in the country. He said that there is only 1.5 per cent usage of the medicines, that were recently hiked.

“98.5 medicines are available in the country at the same old rate”, Ali Muhammad Khan said and added that pharmaceutical companies agreed with the government not to hike prices of medicines during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the pharma industry cannot increase the prices of medicines without the approval of the relevant ministry.