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Epilepsy drugs in short supply in Pakistan

15 April, 2002

Around 100 medicines, including a number of anti-epileptic drugs, have been in short supply in Pakistan since the government imposed a 15 per cent General Sales Tax (GST) on pharmacutical products on 1 April, according to the Dawn newspaper in Karachi.

Dr Zafar Mirza, the executive coordinator of the Network for Consumer Protection, called on the government to withdraw the decision to impose GST on drugs. 

A chemist told the newspaper that the manufacturers were holding back stocks of drugs to add the GST to price tags. They were doing so despite the fact that these medicines had already come out of the factory, he added.

Dr Mirza added that the Health Ministry was failing its legal duty to ensure "regular and adequate" supply of every registered drug in the market.