Reducing medicine prices

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Medicines are unusual commodities and important drugs can save the lives and protect the health of millions. Their consumption can bring huge benefits, by helping patients to avoid infection and preventing serious damage to the economies of families, nations and even humanity at large and the cost of research, development and testing of a new drug is vastly greater than the cost of each dose produced. Federal Cabinet has decided to reduce prices of eighty-nine medicines, including life-saving drugs, by fifteen percent with immediate effect to provide relief to people. Briefing media persons about cabinet meeting decisions in Islamabad on Tuesday, Special Assistant on Health Zafar Mirza said the prices have been decreased under Medicine Pricing Policy 2018. The Prime Minister has directed to review medicine policy within two months. National Medicine Policy is being prepared under which pharmaceutical sector will be regularized.
If the government does not take action, the cost of pharmaceutical drugs would rise by at least 10% every year. The government makes agreements with doctors, pharmacists and health insurers to control these costs. Equitable access to essential, high-quality and affordable essential medicines and other medical technologies depends on affordable and fair pricing and effective financing schemes. Promoting affordable and fair prices and cost-effective interventions is central to the achievement of universal health coverage. An ‘affordable and fair’ price is one that can reasonably be funded by patients and health budgets and simultaneously sustains research and development, production and distribution within a country. Rising medication costs are at the forefront of news reports, as drastic increases are creating roadblocks for patients to receive proper health care treatment. Pharmaceutical companies are being regulated by the federal government on regular basis. Any measure taken to facilitate the general masses is always welcoming. It is appreciable that the government has decided to reduce the prices of certain medicines. Majority of the public is living under poverty line and striving hard for survival. Pharmaceutical companies should follow a realistic approach. Pakistan should manufacture medicines itself in order to maintain low prices of medicines. It is appreciable that incumbent government has taken notice of hype in medicine prices and tried to ease the life of common man.

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