Paracetamol production has resumed after the government and pharmaceutical companies reached an agreement.
Pakistan was in the grip of a paracetamol crisis after GSK halted production of all
paracetamol products last week.
The major manufacturer of paracetamol products in Pakistan announced
on wednesday that it will resume full production of paracetamol tablets and syrups following an agreement with the government on the price of essential medicine, which also stated that pharmaceutical companies had agreed to reduce prices of
paracetamol products, which is nearly half of the price increase demanded by the industry.
“In a meeting with the heads of major pharmaceutical companies, Federal
Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar discussed the retail price of
products.” The pharmaceutical industry agreed to lower the
prices of paracetamol 500mg tablets to Rs2.35, paracetamol extra 500 mg to
Rs2.75 and syrup to Rs117.6, which is nearly half of the price increase
demanded by them. “Production of products has begun,” the
Federal Finance Ministry announced on Wednesday.
healthcare Pakistan Limited
GSK Consumer Healthcare Pakistan Limited, the country’s largest producer of
paracetamol tablets, declared ‘force majeure’ last week and suspended
production of all products, resulting in a shortage of essential
Following the meeting, a representative of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical
Manufacturers Association (PPMA) who attended the meeting stated that GSK
Consumer Healthcare Pakistan has assured them that they will produce
them at maximum capacity, stating that while these are not ideal prices
for them, they will not suffer any price loss for their products.
The decision of successive governments to protect local industries has cost
consumers dearly, from medicines to locally assembled cars.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed that the Ministries of Health and
Finance prepare a proposal to provide a subsidy to the manufacturer of Panadol
in order to avoid price increases and a possible backlash from the public and
his political opponents.
Fakhar Alam, the Health Secretary, did not respond to a request for comment.
“This is correct that there is a high rate of duty on them because it is locally manufactured,” said FBR spokesman Afaque Qureahi. The raw materials of paracetamol ACETIC ANHYDRIDE PCT 2915.2400 and PARA-AMINO-PHENOL PCT 2922.2900, on the other hand, are chargeable to 0% CD and 0% ST under schedules 5 and 6, respectively.”
According to a senior government official, Pakistan has committed to the IMF
that it will not provide subsidies, regardless of the fiscal impact.