Islamabad: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has recently warned drugstores of crackdown over surgical mask profiteering following coronavirus outbreak in China.
The demand for protective medical gear, especially disposable face masks, has gone up since last December when a new respiratory virus, coronavirus, appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan. As a result, their prices have soared.
Now, the DRAP in a belated move has taken note of the artificial price hike and warned drug stores against making excessive profit on face mark sales.
In a public notice, the DRAP chief executive officer said the authority had learned about the sales of surgical gear used to prevent coronavirus, especially N95 masks (respirator), Tyvek suit, goggles and disposable bags, at prices higher than the approved ones, on the market.
He said profiteering not only went against the teachings of Islam but also violated the law of the land, so chemists, pharmacists, drugstore owners, wholesalers and importers had been warned against selling surgical gear at prices higher than those fixed in December last year. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) asked people to report such profiteering to the local drug inspectors or relevant DRAP officials for effective crackdown.
The death toll from the China coronavirus epidemic has jumped past 1,600 with more than two dozen countries having confirmed cases and several suspending trade and travel links with China to contain the spread of the deadly virus.