KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) have jointly showed consent to organize a conference in Islamabad to sort out pressing issues being faced by the Pharmaceutical industry of the country.
The joint resolve of the two main business entities came as a delegation of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA) met the FPCCI President Zubair F. Tufail and Chief Executive of TDAP S.M Muneer, said a PPMA.
PPMA Chairman Dr. Kaiser Waheed on the occasion informed the chiefs of two main trade entities about issues being faced by Pharma industry.
Dr. Waheed informed the FPCCI president and chief executive of TDAP that bureaucracy had not been allowing autonomous and independent functioning of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) as per the provisions of the DRAP Act-2012.
The PPMA chairman held out the viewpoint that companies associated with the pharmaceutical industry in the country should be allowed to function like other commercial entities as they were primarily meant to do business instead of being charitable organizations.
He said that DRAP should either be placed under control of Federal Ministry of Commerce or Council of Common Interests in the centre. This should be done because the Ministry of National Health Services, which is at present overseeing the drug regulatory authority has been unable to understand peculiar business needs of Pharmaceutical companies being commercial entities, he said.
The Ministry of National Health Services is supposed to manage hospitals rather than to do regulatory work for the DRAP, Dr. Waheed.
He said that similar shortcomings had also surfaced in the regulatory bodies of fields related to Pharma sector like Pharmacy Council of Pakistan and Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.
Speaking on the occasion, FPCCI president said that government was under obligation to look into the issues concerning the Pharma sector as people had been acutely suffering due to shortage of medicines in the market since long.
He said the government should also take cognizance of the issue that annual Pharma exports of the country had dropped from 360 million US Dollars to 160 m Dollars and that decline in exports of medicines all happened during the brief regime of DRAP.
TDAP chief executive said on the occasion that the proposed conference in Islamabad would be organized to adopt a strategy on a war-footing basis for the revival of Pharma sector of the country.
The proposed conference in Islamabad would be attended by representatives of PPMA, DRAP; and by ministers, secretaries, and other senior officials of ministries of National Health Services and Commerce.
He said that medicines’ industry of Pakistan should be allowed to get developed and expanded without imposing undue regulations as had been the case of Pharma sector of India.
He said that Indian Pharma industry had been allowed to independently function as at the same time the regulatory regime there didn’t allow medicines’ companies to financially exploit the consumers. Resultantly the Indian medicines’ sector had been thriving and exporting its products to the West and the United States.
Both FPCCI and TDAP chiefs assured the representatives of PPMA to convey to the government the concerns and suggestions of the stakeholders of the Pharma sector.
The PPMA delegation besides Dr. Waheed comprised of Zahid Saeed, Ilyas Nanitalwala, and Haseeb Khan.