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Pakistan approves hike in drug prices

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The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet in Pakistan has approved an increase of up to 20% in retail prices of generic medicines and 14% for essential ones. The move has been criticized by drug manufacturers who said the increases were too small.

The ECC allowed manufacturers and importers to increase their existing market retail price of essential drugs up to 14%, and in the case of all other drugs, prices could be increased up to 20% based on the average CPI for the current year.

The ECC has further advised the policy board to review the situation after three months and make its recommendations to the federal government regarding a price decrease if the rupee appreciates its value. The annual inflation rate hit 35% in March, fuelled by a depreciating currency, a rollback in subsidies, and higher tariffs.

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