Monday, August 8, 2022

Punjab faces shortage of life-saving drugs after sales tax imposition

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LAHORE: Punjab province is facing a shortage of life-saving drugs with pharmaceutical manufacturers blaming sales tax on raw material behind the shortage, ARY NEWS reported.

According to details, only limited stock of more than 40 life-saving drugs dealing with fever, aches, mental stress, asthma, cancer, cardiac arrest, infection in lungs, diabetes, blood pressure, Hepatitis, and other diseases are available in the market.

The pharmaceutical manufacturers while sharing details of the shortage said that the import of raw materials needed for the manufacturing of these drugs has been halted after the imposition of sales tax on the raw material.

“The manufacturing cost of the life-saving drugs has increased after the sales tax,” they said and announced that the medicine could only be manufactured now after the reversal of the tax.

In October 2020, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) on Wednesday notified an increase in prices of 94 life-saving drugs.

The notification was issued following the approval of the federal cabinet. The drugs whose prices have been jacked up include those used for heart ailments, cancer, and blood pressure. The price of the anti-rabies vaccine has also increased.

Read More: 262%’ hike in life-saving drugs challenged in LHC

The increased rates of these medicines will remain frozen until June 31, 2021.

“The cabinet allowed increase in the prices of those drugs which are short in the market as their manufacturers have stopped their production due to losses,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had said in a joint press conference with Information Minister Shibli Faraz after the cabinet meeting.

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