Essential drugs shortage

Deliberate shortage of essential medicines is a round-the-year routine that goes unnoticed and unpunished in our country. Clinicians, who get frequent and early feedback from their patients, do not take the pain to notify the authorities concerned. The same is the case with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) and the Pharma Bureau (PB).

A few years ago an essential drug, carbimazole (Neo-Mercazole) prescribed for the treatment of thyrotoxicosis, a serious disease of the thyroid gland, was re-marketed after a gap of one year but costing more than its actual price. Another very essential drug, thyroxine, used by patients who are born with a deficient state of the thyroid hormone, was back in the market after a good 16 months but with a price nine times the original. Another essential drug called folic acid has many indications/uses but its role during pregnancies is vital.

Every woman needs folic acid on a daily basis while trying to conceive. It is also needed in the first three months of the pregnancy to lower the chances of serious birth defects, was not available for good 6 months. I bet the drug will be re-marketed as usual with a high price and the authorities concerned will remain indifferent about it.



ePaper - Nawaiwaqt