Markets will soon face a shortage of 150 lifesaving drugs, warns Pharma Cos – Latest News – The Nation
| pharmaceutical companies stop importing raw materials after tax rate increase
| 40 basic life-saving drugs have already disappeared from the market | DRAP inspection teams monitoring drug shortages, says CEO
Pharmaceutical companies want the government to withdraw 1pc of sales tax and refund 17pc of deducted sales tax imposed by the previous government
Islamabad – A severe shortage of life-saving drugs is feared as pharmaceutical companies have stopped importing raw materials for their products due to the recent increase in tax rate, The Nation learned on Friday.
At least 40 basic life-saving drugs have already disappeared from the market.
Pharmaceutical companies have warned authorities that if the government does not fix their problems, there will be a shortage of 150 lifesaving drugs.
Speaking to The Nation, Qazi Mansoor Dilawar, the chairman of pharmaceutical companies confirmed that drugmakers have reservations about imposing new raw material taxes for drugs. “The pharmaceutical companies want the government to lift 1% of the sales tax and refund 17% of the deducted sales tax imposed by the previous government,” he said.
Qazi claimed that with a 1% tax, pharmaceutical companies, with a market of Rs 700 billion, end up paying Rs 70 billion in taxes.
“Our cost would eventually go up after those taxes,” he said. He said tariffs for energy, raw materials, packaging and labor costs had already risen, making the industry economically unviable.
According to details provided by different companies and retailers, 40 life-saving drugs have already disappeared from the market.
Qazi said the pharmaceutical industry decided not to import raw materials used to produce drugs due to the imposition of the GST.
Drugs not available on the market include Alp tablet used for anti-depression, dexamethasone for asthma, cancer and joint pain, Epitab for epilepsy, Nervin for depression, Epival , Fexet D, Nitronal, Ventolin tablets and injections. Also Epival In, Myrin P, Ketasol Inj, Loprin, Silver tab, phenergen Elixir, Tixylix Lincitilus, Chlooriptics Drops, systane drops, Rivotril drops, Dormicum tablet, Winstor, Tritace, Sodamint, Schazobutil, Jardymet and Brufen. Lomotil, Panadol, Tan Primolut B, Progynova, Stilnix, Glucobay, Zentel, Avor, Gravibinan, Syp Gaviscom, Lipofundin and Sorbid Injection are also missing from the market. The pharmaceutical industry has asked the federal government to remove the 17% GST on raw materials to protect the industry and patients.
Dr. Asim Rauf, CEO of DRAP, told The Nation that DRAP inspection teams were monitoring drug shortages and maintaining data properly on a daily basis. He claimed the shortage was due to the disruption in the supply chain.
He said the drug Epival would be available on the market by next week.
“The rest of the life-saving drugs are already available on the market,” he said. The government has already reduced the sales tax on imports of raw materials from 17% to 1%. There was no point in threatening drug shortages from manufacturers, he said. He said these were pressure tactics used by manufacturers to meet their unjustified demands.
Health Ministry spokesman Sajid Shah was unaware of the drug crisis when asked about the drug shortage. “Please don’t panic. All the drugs are available on the market,” he said.
While residents not only of the twin cities, but also of the rest of the country, are facing serious problems in the availability of life-saving medicines.