Healthcare at verge of ‘crisis’ as Pakistan running out of life-saving drugs


KARACHI – Healthcare officials have sounded alarm as Pakistan is running out of life-saving medicines and crucial supplies as the economic crisis worsens and the local currency plummeted in recent times.

Experts warn of dire consequences as the currency of the South Asian nation tumbled to a record low while the government relaxed its grip to salvage the IMF bailout, and it directly caused a shortage of several medicines including several related to cardiovascular disease.

An importer of biological products told a Pakistani media outlet that the cost of several drugs skyrocketed and it comes at the point where importers are incapable to bring these drugs to the existing prices.

Many of the short drugs are related to cancer therapies, anesthesia gasses, and blood thinning as vendors halted import amid a haphazard economic situation and outdated drug pricing policies.

The fifth most populated nation imports most vaccines, anti-cancer drugs, immunosuppressants used in organ transplants and, hormones, fertility medicines from Europe, Russia, China, India, and the United States.

According to DRAP rules, importers can apply only once in three years for a price adjustment if a medicine comes under the hardship category amid increased import prices while the roller coaster ride of the rupee increased prices of imported medical products.

Amid the alarming situation, healthcare officials called on the federal government to review the Drug Pricing Policy 2018 of DRAP, which impacted prices.