Legislation to stop over-charging on medicines on cards

Islamabad—The government was working on new legislation to stop practice of over-charging on medicines in the country with imposing heavy fines and imprisonment.
Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination chaired by Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi, Secretary Ministry of National Health Services Ayub Sheikh said the proposed fine would range upto Rs 100 million.
Under the proposed legislation, the manufacturer would face fine of Rs 100 million, distributor Rs 10 million and retailer Rs 100,000, besides imprisonment, for overcharging, he added.
The meeting was informed that as compared to branded cigarettes, plain standard packaging was less attractive to young people, reduced mistaken beliefs that some brands were safer than others and was likely to reduce smoking uptake among the children and young people.
It was apprised that the plain packaging eliminated the use of colourful logos and branding on tobacco packaging, which served as a key strategy used by the tobacco industry to make products more appealing to current and potential customers, including youth.
The meeting was informed that there would be international standard accredited central drug testing laboratory while labs would also start working at provincial level.
The body received a detailed briefing on the recent increase in prices and shortage of some medicines in the market especially in rural areas of the country.—APP

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