ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday directed Ministry of National Health Services to formulate a comprehensive plan to expand outreach of Prime Minister’s National Health Program to all parts of the country and provide relief to the poor segments of the society.
The prime minister further directed that the regulatory mechanism regarding registration of drugs and pricing policy should be further simplified as to facilitate drugs manufacturers and create a win-win situation for the consumers as well as the drugs producers and importers.
“Comprehensive proposals should be placed before the cabinet and necessary legislation, in case needed, be put in place for addressing the issues being faced vis-à-vis further facilitating drugs regulatory regime in the country,” directed PM Abbasi.
PM Abbasi also directed the ministry to present a road map within 24 hours with specified timelines to clear the backlog the registration and price fixation of various drugs.
Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar briefed the PM that the government has undertaken major reforms especially in last two years in diverse areas including the launch of Prime Minister’s National Health Program.
The other initiatives include the introduction of a comprehensive drug pricing policy, increase in coverage of children vaccinated under expanded program on immunization, significant reduction of polio cases, launch of Prime Minister’s Program for the treatment of fatal diseases, and successful negotiation under National Immunization Support Program for financial sustainability of immunization services of women and children.
The minister said that Prime Minister’s National Health Program was started in twenty-six districts in the first phase and would cover over three million families and is the largest public health initiative in the country.
PM Abbasi appreciated the progress being made under the National Health Program and directed the ministry to work closely with the provincial governments in order to expand its outreach.
Discussing issues concerning Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), the prime minister observed that the regulatory policies and framework should aim to facilitate international as well as local drugs manufacturers and aim at promoting healthy competition among the producers.
He said that that the government is making efforts to put in place a congenial environment for the businesses to flourish and markets to grow further. He observed that the drug regulator’s job was to protect the consumers and facilitate business community to the maximum possible extent.