Increase in prices of life saving drugs is unacceptable, says Sherry Rehman

Islamabad: Condemning the government’s notification which allows rise in prices of 94 life-saving drugs, Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said other countries are making life saving drugs free for their citizens while our government is busy playing politics over such crucial matters.

She said, “Drugs whose prices have been allowed to increase include medicines such as furosemide injections for emergency use in high blood pressure; acetazolamide tablets for glaucoma; hydralazine tablets for lowering blood pressure and carbamazepine tablets and suspension for epilepsy. Atropine sulphate injection used in emergencies; magnesium sulphate used to treat seizures due to preeclampsia during pregnancy; hydroxyurea, daunorubicin, bleomycin –all used in the treatment of cancer; nitroglycerin and glyceryl trinitrate used as emergency heart medicines and anti-rabies vaccine are also among the medicines”.

“The constant increase in price has forced patients to reduce drug dosage or discontinue treatment. The government has left them with no choice but to compromise their health,” she added.

Rehman said, “DRAP’s lack of interest in monitoring drug prices is shocking. What exactly is it doing? It seems that there is no check and balance by the government. They are only busy in keeping a check on the opposition and curbing our voices”.

“PTI government is setting new records of incompetence and inflation. Looking at their past record, In June, 2020 they amended the Drug Pricing Policy 2018, allowing pharmaceutical companies to increase prices of medicines up to 10%. In 2019, the PTI government had allowed the pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of 45,000 medicines up to 15%. The prices of 463 hardship medicines were increased by 200% – the highest increase in the last 40 years,” she added.

“The PTI government is appeasing the mafias by increasing prices of essential products. The PM once used to criticize previous governments for increasing prices of essential times. So, what is he doing right now?” she questioned.

Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying, “This government’s only performance has been taking from the people the facilities provided to them. Instead of providing relief to people during this pandemic, government has gone ahead and increased the prices of 94 lifesaving medicines. Na ahal sarkar should stop appeasing the mafias by increasing prices of essential products and instead focus on running the country which they seem to have forgotten in their obsession with the opposition witch hunt”.