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Prices of medicines to be increased by 20pc after recent hike as economic crisis worsens

11:13 AM | 29 Apr, 2023
Prices of medicines to be increased by 20pc after recent hike as economic crisis worsens
Source: File Photo

ISLAMABAD – Several medicines including painkillers, anti-infection drugs, cardiac drugs, and antibiotics get expensive after Economic Coordination Committee approved the hike.

Already distressed Pakistanis will have to pay more for routine and essential medicines as the South Asian nation grapples with skyrocketing inflation while local currency depreciated massively.

Earlier, Sharif-led government dismissed a request by pharma giants to increase the prices of more than 100 medicines, but the firms pushed the government and warned of a shortage of several drugs which prompted the recent action.

In a recent meeting, officials approved the increase of up to 20 percent in retail prices of generic medicines and 14 percent for essential ones, while drug manufacturers are still not happy as they called for at least a 40 percent increase.

The hike was approved as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presided over a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). In a statement, Finance Ministry said: “To ensure continuous availability of drugs in the market, the ECC allowed as a one-time dispensation, manufacturers and importers to increase their existing MRPs of essential drugs equal to 70 percent increase in CPI (with a cap of 14 percent) and MRPs of all other drugs and lower priced drugs an increase up to 70 percent in CPI (with a cap of 20 percent) on the basis of average CPI for current year i-e 1st July, 2022 to 01st April, 2023.”

Officials maintained that the hike in prices should be considered an annual increase for the financial year 2023-24, and no further increase in this category would be granted in the next financial year.

The surge comes in the wake global increase in the price of raw materials, while the dollar shortage also forced the government to import several medicines which caused a temporary shortage of several drugs which were also sold at an elevated price.

The lower and middle class of country are bearing the brunt of the ballooning inflation in the country as inflation increased by 0.15 percent to reach 46.82 percent.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 17 April 2024

Pakistani currency saw minor adjustment against global currencies on April 17, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293.15 for buying and 296.1 for selling while British Pound stands at 344.25 for buying, and 347.6 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.4 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 17 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293.15 296.1
UK Pound Sterling GBP 344.25 347.6
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45 76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.26 911.26
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.24 58.84
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.75 166.75
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.37 77.07
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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