LHC suspends notification about medicine prices

Court issues notices to caretaker govt, others, seeks reply

LAHORE  -  The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday suspended the operation of a notification, permitting phar­maceutical companies to sell medi­cines that were not on the National List of Essential Medicines (NEML) at self-determined prices.

Justice Shahid Karim passed the orders on a petition, filed by a citi­zen, Muhammad Aslam, challenging the notification, issued by the Minis­try of National Health Services, Reg­ulations, and Coordination, about the non-NEML drugs, a day earlier. The court also issued notices to the caretaker government and other re­spondents and sought a reply.

Earlier, during the proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel contended that a recent decision by the caretaker fed­eral government led to issuance of the notification, enabling pharmaceutical companies to sell non-NEML drugs at self-determined prices. He argued that the caretaker government lacked the authority to make such a decision and expressed concerns that the com­panies would burden the public by selling medicines at arbitrary prices. The counsel urged the court to invali­date the notification, asserting it was issued unlawfully. He also requested to suspend the notification till final decision of the petition.

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