PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday summoned the Federal Health Secretary on September 23 to brief him on the progress of the proposed policy prepared by the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan to regulate drug prices.
A bench consisting of Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Judge Syed Arshad Ali issued the order after Drap deputy director Hafiz Bilal informed that the authority drafted the drug policy draft last June and forwarded it to the National Ministry of Health Services for approval.
The official said the authority, in accordance with an earlier court order, had submitted the draft drug policy to the Ministry of Health and was currently awaiting a response.
The bench observed that multinational pharmaceutical companies had a monopoly, so drug prices frequently rose to become unaffordable for the population.
He wondered why the federal government did not ensure the availability of the raw material for the manufacture of drugs and had to import it, causing high drug prices and the country’s dependence on multinational companies.
Official sheet says policy project with the ministry to nod
The bench heard three health-related petitions.
A contempt of justice petition is filed by lawyer Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel for action against the director general of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Care Commission and senior officials of the health department for the non-uniformity of tariffs charged by health establishments, including laboratories and clinics, despite a court ruling.
The second petition is filed by Mohammadullah Khan, a resident of Kohat, against the alleged illegal kidney transplant to his uncle, Haji Habib Khan, by a group of medical professionals, including doctors, for 2.55 million rupees in 2018. Patient Haji Habib died in 2018. two days of the illegal transplant.
The applicant’s lawyer, Malik Ajmal Khan, asked the court to order the FIA and HCC to take legal action against all those involved for this purpose and to conduct a high-level investigation against all those. involved in the illegal organ trade.
The latest petition is filed by PPP MPA Nighat Orakzai, who challenged last year’s notification from the National Ministry of Health Services allowing drug manufacturers and importers to raise drug prices by 70% and demanded to declare it unconstitutional.
In the petition, the MPA said that by allowing a 70% price increase for drug manufacturers and importers, the Drap and the Department of Health had exceeded their powers and violated the Drug Act, 1976, and the Drap Act, 2012.
She asked the court to declare the disputed notification issued on July 15, 2020, a denial of the fundamental rights of the people mentioned in the Constitution.
Deputy Attorney General Asghar Khan Kundi and Additional Attorney General Mohammad Sohail represented the Federal and KP governments respectively, while the Drap was represented by Deputy Director Hafiz Bilal.
Mehwish Muhib Kakakhel was the lawyer for petitioner Saifullah Muhib.
The bench observed that a policy should be adopted to control the rates of drugs and laboratory tests and stop their frequent rise.
He added that the federal government should be interested in the issue because it is related to the population.
Petitioner Nighat Orakzai also called on the court to declare illegal the production, sale and marketing of drugs and pharmaceuticals bearing brand names and to order the government to legislate on the matter to ensure the manufacture and sale of drugs. sale of drugs and pharmaceuticals with generic names.
Posted in Dawn, le 16 September 2021