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Novartis stops making TB drugs in Pakistan over price issue

01:02 AM | 21 Jul, 2016
Novartis stops making TB drugs in Pakistan over price issue
ISLAMABAD - Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis AG said that it has stopped making tuberculosis drugs in Pakistan due to concerns over pricing.

Doctors and public health officials said shortage of the drugs could lead to a rise in drug-resistant strains of TB, as tens of thousands of patients have missed doses mid-treatment, prompting fears of a health crisis in a country with the world's fifth-highest TB rates.

The drugs include combinations of antibiotics as well as substitutes for patients with complications.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) sets prices for about 320 critical medicines. But pricing caps have not been significantly raised since 2001, making it non-viable for firms to make many drugs.

The issue has become particularly acute for TB drugs. Of 18 companies licensed to manufacture TB drugs in Pakistan, only four, including Novartis, were making them this year, said Ayesha Haq, executive director of Pharma Bureau, a trade group representing 20 firms in Pakistan.

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 23 February 2024

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 23, 2024 (Friday)

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.45 for selling.

Euro comes down to 301 for buying and 304 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 75.95 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.25.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 23 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 279.5 282.45
Euro EUR 301 304
UK Pound Sterling GBP 351.5 355
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.95 76.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.25 75
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.60 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 76.76 77.43
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.87
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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