Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Pakistan facing shortage of hepatitis, influenza, other vaccines

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KARACHI: The country is facing a shortage of many vaccines including hepatitis, influenza and various other medicines as the drugs have vanished from the medical stores and markets, ARY News reported on Saturday.

The drugs for the vaccination of hepatitis and influenza and other diseases have seen a shortage in the markets and stores of the country. It is being said that the shortage was resulted due to the hike in prices of material for manufacturing the vaccines.

Sources said that the health authorities did not pay attention to the availability of important vaccines due to the postponement of Hajj and Umrah rituals this year.

Read: Hike in prices of 94 life-saving drugs by DRAP ‘inevitable’: SAPM

The chemists of different medical stores said that different vaccines are being sold at hefty prices up to Rs3,000 to Rs5,000.

The shortage of essential drugs like hepatitis, influenza and other diseases is followed by the government’s September 22 decision of jacking up rates of 94 essential medicines reportedly up to 262 per cent.

Earlier on September 24, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had said that the recent hike in prices of 94 essential life-saving drugs by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) was ‘inevitable’ to ensure availability of the medicines.

Read: Govt given time to explain 262% hike in medicine prices

Dr Faisal Sultan, while talking to media in Islamabad today, had said that a ‘reasonable increase’ was made in prices of 94 essential drugs by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).

The special assistant was of the view that pharmaceutical companies usually stop production of some medicines if prices are not increasing. A halt in production by the pharmaceutical companies create a shortage of drugs across the country, he added.

DRAP has a mechanism to monitoring prices of drugs and the government thoroughly reviewed the reasons before approving the recent hike, Sultan said.

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