LAHORE: The nexus of five is freely but tactfully looting the masses who are made to purchase cheaper medicines at exorbitant rates owing to the fact that no institution is serious in checking the huge difference in retail and actual prices.
The government, especially the Federal, and the pharmaceutical companies have virtually joined hands to loot the masses after giving huge profit margins to wholesalers, retailers and lastly private practitioners by creating wide gap between actual and retail price of the medicines.All powerful pharmaceutical companies connive with the Federal institution to set retail prices of various medicines as per their sweet wish and then hit the market hard with far low prices, on most of the occasions i.e. 10 times less than the one printed on packs.
In doing so, the companies save cost of setting up marketing network and employing tools by giving huge profit margin to wholesalers, retailers and private practitioners. Unseen distribution of huge profit causes the market forces to promote specific medicines that not only increases sale of pharmaceutical companies, but also make the products known to the masses without any serious effort.
The retailers fleece the customers by giving alternative medicine, having the retail formula almost the same as that of the leader drugs or patent brands but with 10 times more profit margin.The medical practitioners directly purchase medicines carrying huge profit margin from wholesale market at the Lohari Gate (Lahore), prescribe these and sell to the patients coming to their clinics.
Instead of leader drug, that first brand registered for a specific formula, the practitioners prescribe and sell the medicine having same composition but different name giving a huge profit margin.The leader drug provides realistic profit while the other brands with same composition are available that gives huge and unrealistic margin.Details of actual and retail price of various brands gathered by this scribe from wholesale market at Lohari revealed that all benefits goes to the companies and middleman while the ultimate losers are the masses.
Diflucan, the leader drug that acts as anti-fungal medicine, is having little attraction for the wholesalers, retailers and private practitioners due to high retail of Rs 384 and little profit margin.Fluzole, the same compound and 10 other brands, is sold at Lohari at Rs 15 while its retail price is Rs 138.The same is the situation with the drug Pepcidine used in case of gastric and small intestine ulcers. The retail of Pepcidine is Rs 263. Alternatives of this leader drug, Tabrodine, Aclo and over 100 such brands are sold from Rs 5 to Rs 7 while their retail ranges from Rs 70 to Rs 110.
Diclotal and over 200 brands are used in rheumatoid arthritis. These drugs are sold in the market from Rs 4 to Rs 7 while the retail price varies from Rs 60 to Rs 90. Cap Piromin is available in the market at Rs 13 while its retail is Rs 70. Over 100 such drugs used in rheumatoid arthritis, acute gout and muscular skeletal disorder are available in the said price range while their retail varies from Rs 60 to Rs 90.
Tivanic 500mg and the same drug in 250 mg is used in cases of chest infection, pneumonia and chronic bronchitis.The retail of this leader drug in 500 mg is Rs 821 and in 250 mg is Rs 417 while retail of its injection is Rs 1376. Its alternative drugs with the same formula but huge profit margin are of great attraction for the market forces. These alternative medicines in 500 mg and 250 mg are available at Rs 45 and Rs 30 respectively while respective retail prices are Rs 300 and Rs 400. The alternative injection is available in the market at Rs 150 while its retail is Rs 400.
Azithromycin, a broad spectrum antibiotic, is sold at the Lohari Market at Rs 72 while its retail is Rs 398. Over 50 similar drugs are available in the same price range.Methycobal, leader drug used in cases of numbness in diabetic patients and in peripheral neuropathies, is of less attraction due to retail of Rs 1273 and only logical profit margin. Neocobal, having same formula and composition, is available at Lohari Market at Rs 80 while retail printed on packet is Rs 573.
Over 30 brands of similar drugs are available in the market.Losec, a leader drug, is used in cases of gastric and duodenal ulcers. Retail of its 20 mg capsules packet is Rs 688. Its alternative drug Opizole is sold at Lohari at Rs 16 while its retail is Rs 144. Over 100 brands of similar compound are available in the same price and retail range. – Dailytimes