The federal government has reduced the price of Remdesivir, an antiviral being used to treat coronavirus. The prices of 94 lifesaving drugs have been increased.
Remdesivir, which used to cost more than Rs10,000, will now cost Rs8,400, said the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, according to Radio Pakistan.
Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral drug that was invented as a potential treatment for Ebola. It was approved by DRAP on June 8 for emergency use for the treatment of COVID-19 in Pakistan. The US Food and Drug Administration had granted emergency use authorisation of the drug on May 1.
The government also increased the prices of 94 lifesaving drugs, including those for blood pressure, heart disease and pregnancy.
“Prices have been rationalised to ensure availability of quality medicines at reasonable rates,” said the PM’s aide. This will ensure availability of these medicines and end frequent shortages, he added.
In August, the Ministry of Health had announced that there would be no increase in the prices of lifesaving medicines for three months in Pakistan. DRAP and pharmaceutical companies had agreed to delay the increase in medicine prices because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the Drug Pricing Policy 2018, companies are allowed to raise prices by seven to 10% every year.