The recent decision by the federal government to allow pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of 94 lifesaving drugs has been challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC). The petition was filed by Advocate Nadeem Sarwar and the federal and provincial governments, among others have been made respondents. The government took the decision in order to end the chronic shortage of drugs in the local market.The petitioner prayed upon the court that the government has allowed the price increase of medicines by 262 per cent which is illegal. “The people are already worried about inflation and unemployment,” the petitioner implored. “The court should declare the increase in the prices of medicines null and void.”On September 23, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan said that the federal cabinet allowed to rationalise prices of the drugs that had been reported to be in short supply due to unrealistically low cost. The SAPM added prices were increased for the drugs in the “hardship category” on the recommendation of the Drug Pricing Committee under the Drugs Pricing Policy of 2018.Explaining the decision, Dr Sultan said the decision was taken in order to end the unavailability of drugs in the market due to unrealistic prices, consequent selling of such drugs in the black-market and to ensure that they are locally available instead of being sold through unregulated channels at high prices. He said the drugs whose prices have been allowed to increase include medicines such as furosemide injections for emergency use in high blood pressure; acetazolamide tablets for glaucoma; hydralazine tablets for lowering blood pressure and carbamazepine tablets and suspension for epilepsy.