Punjab faces medicine shortage

Health Department claims stock adequate

Punjab is facing a shortage of at least 40 life-saving drugs, including those of fever, while drug prices have shot up by over 21%.

The Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Association has said that the production has been halted due to higher production cost and sales tax. According to reports, patients are facing severe difficulties as the province faces shortage of dozens of life-saving drugs, including those of fever. The medicines are not available at private or government dispensaries. On the other hand the Drug Regulatory Authority has not been able to control their prices, which have shot up by over 21%.

Medicines for mental stress, joint pain, asthma, cancer are nowhere to be found in the market while heart-attack preventing, lung infection, blood thinners are also short in the market. Additionally, diabetes, stomach burn, blood pressure control, and hepatitis medicines are also among the drugs short in the market. Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association has said that the production cost has gone up due to the newly applied sales tax. The production has been halted and cannot be started until the prices are raised or the production cost is cut, they said.

Meanwhile, in its response, the Health Department Punjab denied news about shortage of life-saving medicine in the province, claiming there is adequate stock of all medicine including paracetamol in the province. The Drug Regulatory Authority is determined to maintaining provision of life-saving drugs in the province, a Health Department spokesperson said. The news about halt of life-saving drugs production including fever medicine are false, he added. He added that the Health Department and DRAP are monitoring the situation.