GSK puts a ‘force majeure’ on the production of a pain medicine in Pakistan – Endpoints News

GSK puts a ‘force majeure’ on the production of a pain medicine in Pakistan – Endpoints News

As Pakistan faces a serious health crisis caused by massive flooding, GSK is scaling back production of a common pain medication in the country.

In a letter to the Pakistan Stock Exchange, the pharmacy said it has declared a “force majeure” – a common contractual provision that exempts parties from liability in extraordinary circumstances – on the production of painkiller Panadol in three forms, including tablets, extra tablets and Panadol liquid range for children.

GSK’s letter explains that the rapid price increase of paracetamol, the raw ingredient for the drug, has been a “critical problem” in Pakistan. And while GSK claims in the letter that it received a “Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) adjustment” for this year from the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, “the same is inconsistent with the devastating increase in the prices of the raw materials of paracetamol.”

The letter also said:

As a responsible corporate citizen, the company has the highest respect for its patients, consumers, healthcare professionals, shareholders and all other stakeholders. During the last twelve (12) months, the company has produced nearly 5,400 million tablets of Panadol 500mg and Panadol Extra to serve its customers, consumers and patients in need.

However, the company states that the production of Panadol at “negative margins” is unsustainable for GSK despite its efforts to negotiate with the authorities.

We urge the Federal Government to take urgent steps to rationalize the prices of the affected Panadol range in accordance with the increase in the price of the affected raw material and as recommended by the Drug Pricing Committee of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, to enable the Company will continue to support the government to ensure a continuous supply to all patients and consumers in need.

News about endpoints contacted GSK for further comment on the situation, but did not receive a response by press time.

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GSK has several operations in Pakistan, including three manufacturing sites in the country’s largest city, Karachi.

The move comes at a serious time for Pakistan as severe flooding has created a health crisis affecting 33 million people, according to the WHO. The flooding, caused by heavy monsoon rains, has caused damage to health infrastructure, leading to shortages of supplies and health personnel. It also leads to an increase in water-borne diseases.

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