The energy crisis worldwide is having a huge impact on a number of industries around the world and none more so than the medical profession.
Over the last few weeks there have been reports from all around the world about the risk of some medications seizing production, with Medicines For Europe stating that the companies that the organisation represents will have to stop producing a number of generic medications should the price cap on those drugs not be lifted in line with the current energy crisis.
And it’s a similar story in Pakistan, with further reports that manufacturers of such medicines may declare ‘force majeure’ as government officials refuse to lift the prices on some medications.
It comes at an interesting time in the landscape of prescription drugs. While they are hugely necessary to millions of people throughout the country, there’s also more people suffering from a prescription drug addiction than ever before, which is seeing a large quantity of pills and medication being misused.
According to reports, a total of 34 medicines, including antibiotics and chemotherapy medicnes, as well as Panadol tablets and syrups, which is going to leave a real hole on the shelves in pharmacies right across Pakistan.
The Drug Pricing Committee (DPC) have recommended that prices do increase with the increased cost of production, but the move has been so far been flat batted by the government.
A spokesperson for the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association said, “The medicine crisis is likely to intensify in the days to come, as the present government has flatly refused to increase the prices of 35 essential medicines, which were forwarded to the federal cabinet as hardship cases. Manufacturers of Panadol, which is the largest medicine in terms of volume and value, have already suspended their production by declaring force majeure, while manufacturers of 34 other medicines are likely to follow suit.”
They added, “Instead of increasing the price of Paracetamol, the prime minister and some of his ministers say they would give subsidy on tablets and syrups, while some of the powerful ministers say, providing subsidy in this regard is impossible. In this situation, only the people are going to suffer, as not only Panadol but many other medicines are likely to vanish from the market.”
Should production come to a halt, it would mark a worrying time for many who rely upon such drugs to stay healthy, and it could lead to an illegal market or the nation having to look elsewhere and pay a premium on importing replacement drugs.
But with other parts of the world following suit when it comes to halting production, the shortage could be serious not just for residents of Pakistan, but other countries around the world too.