GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Pakistan Ltd has stopped production of Panadol Tablets, Panadol Extra Tablets, and Children’s Panadol Liquid Range in Pakistan citing money loss.
In a letter to Prime Minister Office Principal Secretary Syed Tauqir Shah on Friday, the GSK chief executive officer declared force majeure and asked the federal government to rationalize the prices of the paracetamol range against the backdrop of rising costs of raw materials spurred by inflation.
Force majeure is a condition in a contract that frees all parties from liability in case of an extraordinary event such as a pandemic or catastrophe.
However, the company said it remains ‘keen to meet’ relevant officials to resolve the situation to deliver everyday healthcare to the Pakistani people.
“We urge the Federal Government to take urgent action to rationalise the prices of the impacted Panadol range commensurate with the increase in the price of the impacted raw material and as recommended by the Drug Pricing Committee of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, so as to enable the company to continue supporting the government to ensure an ongoing supply to all patients and consumers in need,” the letter read.
The company outlined that it had obtained the approval for the increase in Panadol range prices in the 50th Drug Pricing Committee (DPC) of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) on January 12.
The approval was then sent to the cabinet for validation but it was rejected after a long delay without any intimation to the company.
As per the letter, the company received a routine Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) adjustment for the current year from DRAP on August 25 ‘not commensurate with debilitating increase in the prices of the raw material of Paracetamol’.
The letter was also forwarded to the deputy general manager of the Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited.
Paracetamol is used to treat mild to moderate pain (from headaches, menstrual periods, toothaches, backaches, osteoarthritis, or cold/flu aches and pains) and to reduce fever.
The medication should not be used for fever for more than three days unless asked by the doctor.
In case of pain, adults can consume it for consecutive 10 days while children can take it for five days only unless a higher dosage is directed by the physician.