Pakistan doesn’t have any FDA-approved pharma plant: PBF
KARACHI: Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) President Sahibzada Mian Usman Zulfiqar on Monday demanded that pharmaceutical sector should be regulated by the government in a proper manner so that public can get competitive prices of medicines, especially in an ongoing pandemic.
Pakistan, with a population of 22 crores, does not have any single pharmaceutical plant that complies with the standards prescribed by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while in India, more than 200 plants are approved and even Bangladesh has around eight approved plants, says PBF president in a statement issued Monday.
Zulfiqar said it was unfortunate that local pharmaceutical companies had failed to cater to the needs of the masses. He said: "We have seen even in ongoing pandemic the normal mask prices gone beyond its range. Why the price varies from one company to another of the same medicine in the name of patent rights.”
The oxygenator which was available in the market before COVID-19 at the rate of around Rs 3000, now it is available in the market around Rs 20,000, he says.
PBF stated that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) was playing into the hands of the pharma companies and in this regard, the observation of the Supreme Court that the pharmaceutical sector was a huge mafia in Pakistan was absolutely right. He said Pakistan stood as a novel example where mostly the local industry didn’t cater to the needs of the common man, adding pharmaceutical and automobile sectors is one of them.
He said both the pharmaceutical companies and buyers were in a state of uncertainty. He said pharmaceutical companies sent abroad all the profits in the name of buying raw materials.
PBF also demanded that the government might make public the inquiry report on health ministry regarding the hike in medicine prices from 100 to 300 percent. Now it’s been proved that pharma is a newborn cartel in the country which should be probed for the people and by the people. - PPI