LHC suspends govt’s order allowing companies to fix drug prices

Friday, Feb 23, 2024

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Thursday suspended the operation of a notification permitting pharmaceutical companies to sell medicines not on the National Essential Medicines List (NEML) at self-determined prices.

Justice Shahid Karim passed the orders on a petition filed by a citizen Muhammad Aslam, challenging the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination’s notification about the non-NEML drugs. The court issued notices to the caretaker government and other respondents, seeking a reply. The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the caretaker federal government lacked the authority to make such a decision and expressed concerns about pharmaceutical companies burdening the public with arbitrary prices. The counsel urged the court to invalidate the notification, asserting it was issued unlawfully and requested to suspend it until the final decision of the petition.