PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has observed that it has become difficult for citizens to buy antibiotics during the flue season as the prices of medicines are increased by 300 to 400 percent.

A two-member bench of the PHC comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid and Justice Lal Jan Khattak heard a case pertaining to the rates of tests in clinical laboratories.

Director Operations told the court that a board of governors has been set up to fix rates of tests in clinical laboratories. Justice Qaiser Rashid said the formation of BoG took one year. He said the provincial government is showing non-serious attitude towards a very serious problem. He said the government departments work only after receiving notice from the courts. He questioned does the chairman comes for the meeting just to have tea?

Justice Qaiser Rashid said the tests, which were previously performed for Rs100 or Rs200, are now being performed while costing thousands of rupees. He said it has become very difficult for a common man to buy antibiotics during the flue season. He asked what are the reasons for continuous increase in prices of medicines? Does the government know about the consequences of these issues?

Justice Qaiser Rashid also praised the role of media in bringing the issues to the notice of authorities. He said the media organisations are working in a better way by bringing facts into the notice of courts.

“We come to know through the media whether the prices are high or low. Media persons are brave people who are bringing things into our notice. You (government) also need to fulfil your responsibilities,” he said.

The court summoned the chairman of Drug Regulatory Authority on next date of hearing and adjourned the hearing till November 19.

The prices of antibiotics have troubled the common man. Most of antibiotics, particularly that which are used for children, are very expensive and can be used within a week of opening the seal, which means that an antibiotic cannot be re-used, like other medicines, when it is required. It means that people will have to buy a new antibiotic every time they need it as the old one expires within a week of making a solution of it.

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