In backdrop of steep inflation in the country, which has badly affected middle and lower middle classes of the society, a parliamentary body on Thursday asked the stakeholders to substantially decrease medicine prices and report to the committee by first week of October. A meeting of the National Assembly sub-committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination held here with Dr Nisar Ahmed Cheema in chair. The discussion on the matters related to drugs and Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) was the exclusive agenda of the meeting. The representatives belonging to different pharmaceutical companies across Pakistan had been specially invited to participate in the meeting. As the meeting started the Committee Chair said that I am sure you all people will not disappoint us regarding what I am going to request of you. “The overall inflation in the country is skyrocketing while the medicines are out of reach of common man so I expect you all people will do substantial cut in drugs prices voluntarily in order to maximum facilitate the people of Pakistan,” he said while requesting pharmaceutical officials in the committee. “Please don’t give logic or justifications for keeping medicines prices high, just do as I am requesting” he pleaded. Cheema suggested that the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association of Pakistan (PPMA), after deliberation with all stakeholders, would present the list of at least 150 medicines products the prices of which have been significantly decreased. “Although you are not legally bound for this, it was recommended purely for people’ ease and in public interest on humanitarian grounds,” the chair suggested. The PPMA Chairman Qazi Mansoor Dilawar informed the committee that the raw material companies’ import for medicines manufacturing was too costly. Moreover, he added, the material that was being imported from China turned many times more costly than previous, which is a major reason for the increase in drug prices. “The raw material, which was for 2000 US dollars per container, is not on 12000 US dollars per container,” he claimed. However, he promised, all best possible efforts would be made to follow the suggestions given by the committee. MNA Nasir Khan maintained that such a middle ground could be drawn by which the pharmaceutical industries as well as citizens could not adversely affect, adding that some small products are inexpensive while the others are non-economic. “The 20 percent increase in a product of Rs 200 would not affect more to the common man pocket so there is no harm in such increase while the price which already is being sold for Rs 2000 and if 20 percent price increment added on, it would be discrimination then,” he explained. Some pharmaceutical representatives also expressed concerns regarding non-cooperation from the DRAP in order to handle their legal business. However, CEO Dr Asim Rauf assured for best possible cooperation from the authority in future. A Director at DRAP said “we are always available for the pharmaceutical industry as it is part of our duty,” adding that the authority is ever available to give any kind of services to enhance our industry which will boost our country’s economy eventually. “Tell us your concerns, we ready to mend all these even to be at your doorstep if you feel difficulty in physically appearance at the DRAP office,” Director committed.