An alarming situation has arisen as markets in the country are short on several essential medicines, including suicide prevention drugs, due to a rise in their production costs, raising concerns about an increase in the country’s suicide rate, according to The News.
Meanwhile, officials from the local pharmaceutical industry claimed that the missing drugs include those used to treat psychiatric illnesses, neurological disorders (including epilepsy), tuberculosis, anti-depressant medications, anti-coagulants, pain relievers, anti-hypertensive medications, and a variety of other essential medicines.
A survey of pharmacies in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad revealed that drugs for epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, depression, cardiovascular diseases, and tuberculosis (TB) were in short supply.
Other doctors and pharmacists have noted that critical drugs such as methylphenidate for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Clonazepam drops and tablets for seizures in children and adults are also unavailable.
According to a renowned psychiatrist and former President of the Pakistan Psychiatric Society (PPS), “all brands of lithium carbonate have been unavailable in the market for the last two to three months.” This is the most effective medication for treating a variety of psychiatric illnesses, including bipolar disorder. Many people with psychiatric illnesses may commit suicide if this drug is not made available soon.”
According to the details, the shortage is the result of high drug production costs, which have caused companies to stop manufacturing them.