ISLAMABAD - The Ministry for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination on Monday said that under the newly launched Prime Minister’s National Health Programme (PMNHP) entitled persons can access healthcare facilities of other districts and vaccines for Hepatitis C and B are available for deserving, free of cost.

In a written reply, the Ministry of Health Services said that the database developed by the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) through a household poverty survey was used to identify the beneficiaries for the programme.

The BISP survey has identified all households living below poverty line, which is earning below $2 per day or below the PMT score 32.5.

The Ministry said that PMNHP has acquired BISP poverty database of its 23 districts and provided the families with health card to access indoor quality healthcare services from empanelled hospitals.

“The option of inter-district portability is present in the programme which enables/allows the enrolled beneficiaries of one district, with limited level of healthcare facilities, to access healthcare services from empanelled hospitals of other districts across country,” it said.

Answering another question, it said that during 2016 polio cases have been reduced by 75 per cent as compared to 2015.

It further said that the prices of Hepatitis medicines have been fixed by the Ministry.  Medicine with the name Zeffix (Lamivudine) 100mg Tablets is priced Rs1654.14, whereas the rate of Lamivudine 100mg Tablets has been fixed at Rs280. For hepatitis C, Sovaldi 400mg Tablets is fixed at Rs38,000 for a pack of 28 tablets.

The officials said that Generics of sofosbuvir Tablets have been registered at maximum retail price of Rs5,868, for a pack of 28 tablets which is lowest in the world.

The Ministry claimed that it was instrumental to get new hepatitis-C drug “Sovaldi Tablets” for Pakistani patients at subsidized rates under Patient Access Programm by M/s Gilead Sciences, USA for developing countries.

It pointed out that all provincial health authorities have initiated hepatitis prevention and control programmes and medicines for hepatitis B and C are provided free of cost to poor patients designated public sector hospitals.