Amid reeling economic crisis, Pakistan faces shortage of live-saving drugs

Karachi [Pakistan], March 28 (ANI): Amid the depreciating value of the Pakistani Rupee and shortage of foreign exchange reserves, Pakistan faces a critical shortage of live-saving drugs, Pakistan based The News International reported citing local media.

As a result of medicine suppliers stopping their supply due to dollar-to-rupee differences, both public and private healthcare facilities are experiencing a lack of imported vaccines, cancer treatments, reproductive medications, and anaesthetic gases.

The News International quoted Abdul Mannan, a Pharmacist as saying that the pricing policy of the Drug Regularity Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is the reason why several life-saving drugs are not available in Pakistan.

“Due to the extreme depreciation of Pakistani currency against the dollar and controversial drug pricing policy of Drug Regularity Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), their prices have risen manifold and it has become economically unviable for importers to bring them on the existing prices given by the DRAP,” he said.

Heparin, a blood-thinning agent used following several cardiovascular procedures, is currently the most significant medicine that is not being given to healthcare facilities.

Mannan urged the government to review the Drug Pricing Policy 2018 of DRAP right away, which permits a price increase under the hardship category. Mannan claimed that DRAP permitted the import of medicines when the dollar was available at PKR 190, but that it now has increased to PKR 285 while the dollar is being traded at PKR 300 in the local market, The News International reported.

Pakistan is going through one of its worst economic crises in years. Inflation has surged more than 30 per cent. The Pakistani state usually offers relief packages during the month of Ramzan, but this year, the cash-strapped government have little to give.

Rising inflation has made the lives of the people in the country extremely miserable as they are striving hard to buy the basic amenities, including medicines now as well. (ANI)


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