LAHORE, Dec 7: The herbal companies which have not applied for registration of their products for enlistment in the Drug Regulation Authority Pakistan (DRAP) will not be allowed to sell their products after July 1, 2015.
This was learnt by a source closely associated with the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan of Ministry of Health on Sunday. After the formation of Health Bill for alternative medicines 2012 upon which implementation was started in May 2014, as many as 4,000 herbal companies have applied for registration of their 90,000 products, while most including two major companies have failed to register their products.
It was decided during a meeting of the DRAP, held in November that the medicines of herbal companies with unregistered products would be considered illegal. According to the Herbal Bill, federal and provincial drug inspectors will launch investigations including raids at medical stores and offices of herbal firms to seize the stock which has not been registered by the DRAP.
As per the Act, a punishment of imprisonment up to ten years along with fines will be awarded to violators, he said. The registration fee for a company is Rs 10,000 while medicine registration fee is fixed at Rs 250-2,000 each.
It was learnt that over 30,000 herbal drugs and cosmetic production companies were operating in the country without registration or certification from the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP).
Some pharmacists are of the opinion that the government should set up a herbal research institution to develop the industry as Pakistan’s herbal exports have the potential to target and win international markets. According to a survey conducted in 2004, treatment ratio from herbal medicines was 75 percent while the allopathy treatment ratio was only 25 percent. This rising trend of herbal treatment can effectively boost Pakistani herbals exports; DRAP will issue certification to the registered companies, which is a mandatory requirement for exports to Europe and other countries.