THAT has been a serious shortage of Tegral 200 on the local market for the past few months. The drug is prescribed to epilepsy patients to control seizures and is considered a lifesaver for such patients. The shortage is such that there is not even a substitute.
It used to cost Rs 50 per tablet strip, but shortages have resulted in a price increase of more than seven times, as it is currently being sold by some ‘big’ medical stores for Rs 360. Because of the nature of the drug, people are forced to pay, otherwise there is a risk of losing patients.
There are thousands of epilepsy patients in Pakistan who are required to take one Tegral 200 tablet daily to lead a normal life. Its lack of availability means that the pharmaceutical industry is willing to jeopardize the lives of epileptic patients for the sake of making excessive profits. What about regulators and governments? Are they negligent, incompetent or accomplices?
The people higher up in the system should consider this extremely worrying matter because human life is at stake. Availability of all life-saving drugs on the market at reasonable prices should be a priority to ensure.
Published in Dawn, August 24, 2023