ISLAMABAD: The number of allergy patients has increased four folds in the federal capital in the wake of the persistent dry spell and theprices of anti-allergy medicines have been inflated three folds. According to a Daily Times investigation pharmaceutical companies manufacturing anti-allergy medicines have capitalised on the situation arising out of shortage of rains and grabbed millions of rupees from the patients. A pack of 10 tablets of Telfast a product of Sanofi Aventis company was being sold at the cost of Rs 197 in the market three months before and now it is available at the rate of Rs 393. Likewise other pharmaceutical companies also inflated the rate of their medicines. When contacted by Daily Times , Aslam Afghani, chairman Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) expressed his wonder over the enormous increase in the cost of the medicines saying DRAP was absolutely ignorant in this matter. He further said that a few pharmaceutical companies were having the court’s stay order for increasing the cost but it is not known to him whether Sanofi Evantis company is having a stay order or not. He thanked Daily Times saying if there is any evidence available with “us” then we should provide it to him and he would take stern action. “If Sanofi Evantis company is not having any court’s stay order then we will slap the maximum fine to the tune of Rs 100 million and seal its products”. Another investigation revealed that Fexofinadine formula is used in telfast tablets which is used by two other leading pharmaceutical companies GETZ and Searle. 10 tablets of GETZ company manufactured on the basis of the TELFAST formula is available at the price of Rs 158 in the market. 10 tablets of Searle company is available at the cost of Rs 150 in the market. On the other hand Telfast is available at two times higher the rate than the two companies. It is surprising to note that these three companies manufacture these medicines under Fexofinadine formula. The question arises as to why so much whopping difference exists in the prices of the three multinational companies in respect of a medicine which is manufactured under the same formula by them. When contacted the leading allergy specialist, Dr Athar Niaz Rana, told Daily Times that Sanofi Evantis is a multinational company and it wants to maintain its maximum standard by raising the prices. Therefore, 10 tablets which were available at the cost of Rs 197 in the market a few months back are now available at the cost of Rs 393 in the market. His patients have also complained against the hike in price of this medicine. Therefore he is not prescribing the medicines from other manufacturing companies. Daily Times tried repeatedly to talk to a spokesperson of Sanofi Evantis company in this regard. She said that the matter of enhancing the prices is subjudice since May last year, therefore, she cannot offer any comment on it. Daily Times asked that when prices can be increased in a matter which is sub judice then why it cannot be discussed. What is the reason behind it. She refused to talk further.