Novartis Halts TB Drug Production in Pakistan

July 20, 2016

Novartis has stopped making tuberculosis drugs in Pakistan over pricing dispute, prompting fears of a health crisis due to a drug shortage.

While the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) sets prices for critical medicines, pricing caps have not been significantly raised since 2001. Of the 18 companies licensed to make TB drugs in Pakistan, only four, including Novartis, continued manufacturing the drugs in 2016.

Last month, DRAP allowed for an 8% increase in TB drug prices under a hardship clause, which drug companies can apply for once every three years, but even DRAP's chief executive acknowledged that the price increases thus far were not enough.

Pakistan has the world's fifth highest rate of tuberculosis.

Read the The News International article