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Shortage of Over 200 Medicines, Including TB Treatment, Grips Pakistan

Date: August 03, 2023

Recent reports indicate that Pakistan is facing a severe shortage of more than 200 essential medicines, both local and imported, used to treat various diseases, including tuberculosis (TB). Alongside TB medications, other vital drugs like blood thinners, various vaccines, and biological products are also unavailable in the market.

The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association attributes the scarcity of medicines to the escalating production costs, leading to a decline in manufacturing. Consequently, even medicine importers are refraining from ordering drugs from abroad due to the price hikes.

As a result of the medicine crisis, the market has witnessed an influx of smuggled and counterfeit drugs, exacerbating the already precarious situation.

To tackle the issue, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has proposed an increase in the prices of more than 220 medicines as a measure to cope with the hardships faced by manufacturers. Additionally, they are prioritizing the registration of new medicines to address the shortage promptly.

Notably, drug unavailability is not unique to Pakistan, as countries like the US and some European nations also grapple with similar challenges for various reasons.

The scarcity of life-saving medications poses a significant concern for public health, and stakeholders are working diligently to address the issue and ensure essential medicines are accessible to those in need.

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