KARACHI: The federal cabinet has yet to approve the prices of essential medicines and registration of new novel molecules duly processed and approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) since February 2019.
The delay has deprived a good number of patients in Pakistan of cure from various critical ailments.
It is learnt that the cabinet has not yet approved the minutes of a meeting of the DRAP’s pricing committee held in February 2019, which means the authority has already approved these important drugs, but failed to get the final approval from the cabinet since long.
These drugs and products are meant for stroke, flu, hepatitis B and E, breast cancer, malaria, inhalers, ADHD and rabies etc.
According to a source, these drugs and products are easily available in other countries, but here in Pakistan, they (drugs) are awaiting approval from the cabinet to reach the public.
The drugs and products include Eliquis Film Coated Tablets, Apixaban Tablets, Vaxigrip textra, Octanate F, Caflam, Ritalin LA capsules, VEMLIDY Film Coated Tablet, Trimbow Inhaler Pressurized Metered Dose, Hecolin, Ibrance Capsule, Aubagio Film coated tablet, IMOJEV Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine, Essentiale Forte Capsule, Pyramax, and Roan.
In this regard, the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA) has requested DRAP Chief Executive Asim Rauf to take up long-awaited DPC minutes of February 2019 before the cabinet for approval.
In a letter to DRAP, the association states that for the smooth availability of essential medicines, the authority should ensure to take up long-awaited DPC minutes of February 2019 before the cabinet for approval.
“You will agree with us that these long-awaited DPC minutes include the prices of essential products on the list besides new novel molecules. Holding these minutes is directly affecting patients’ quality of life. The same has been brought into your knowledge several times through official meetings as well as official memos,” the letter further states.
“PPMA once again requests the authority to put utmost efforts for getting DPC minutes approved through the cabinet in the best interest of patients of the country,” the letter says.
Meanwhile, PPMA applauded DRAP’s firm efforts for handling COVID-19 emergency astutely and daringly.