It is an alarming situation that pakistan faces many essential medicines have been disappear from the market which includes suicide prevent medicines also.
KARACHI: It’s a worrying sign that 60 essential medications, including one used to prevent suicide, have disappeared from the market due to rising production costs, which has led psychiatrists to worry about a rise in suicide rates in the nation.
For the past two to three months, all brands of lithium carbonate have been out of stock. The most effective medication for treating bipolar disorder and other psychiatric conditions is this one. Many people with psychiatric illnesses may commit suicide if this medication is not made readily available, according to a renowned psychiatrist and former leader of the Pakistan Psychiatric Society (PPS), who spoke to The News.
Similarly, some other necessary medications, such as clonazepam tablets and drops for treating epilepsy in children and adults, as well as methylphenidate for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, are not readily available on the market, according to doctors and pharmacists.
Other psychiatrists at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad, Mayo Hospital in Lahore, and psychiatrists in Peshawar concurred that although relatives of bipolar disorder patients were swarming from pillar to post in search of lithium carbonate, none of its brands were on the market.
Iqbal Afridi stated that although there are some alternatives to lithium carbonate, they are not as effective as this medication.
He continued, “The pharmaceutical company and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) were requested to ensure availability of this drug as hundreds of patients are suffering due to a shortage of this crucial medication.”
Lithium Carbonate, according to a senior pharmacist from Islamabad named Salwa Ahsan, is not readily available throughout the nation because the price of raw materials has skyrocketed and no longer any companies are producing them.
These medications were previously made by nine pharmaceutical companies, but none of them do so now. Over 60 medications, including those for the treatment of Tuberculosis, psychiatric illnesses, neurological disorders like epilepsy, anti-depressant medications, anti-coagulants (blood thinners), painkillers, anti-hypertensive, and several other crucial medications, according to officials in the local pharmaceutical industry, are not readily available in community pharmacies.
According to senior community pharmacist Arif Aslam, “some crucial medications for the management and treatment of psychiatric disorders, particularly the one for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, are also unavailable on the market. “PPMA: Rupee devaluation is a major contributor to the high cost of production.
The Chairman of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA), Qazi Mansoor Dilawar, acknowledged that a number of medications were unavailable on the local market because their production costs had risen to the point where it was no longer feasible for the manufacturers to produce the medications and sell them for less money than it would have cost to produce them.
The biggest reason for the rise in the price of producing many essential medicines is the depreciation of the Indian rupee. According to Qazi Mansoor Dilawar, rising costs for utilities, transportation, and other costs have made it impossible for pharmaceutical companies to produce many essential medicines.
Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) officials acknowledged that only eight medicines were lacking on the market as a result of supply chain issues, including issues with the release of quota of controlled medicines. They added that their committee on medicine shortage was doing everything in its power to make these medications available in the nation.
Some eight medicines are not available in the market due to issues with the release of quota of controlled medicines and substances, but our officials are working with the ministry of narcotics control and pharmaceutical companies to end their shortage and make them available to the public,” a senior DRAP official told The News.