KARACHI- Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA) has demanded of the government to set up a task force under chairmanship of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to increase annual exports of medicines from existing US $200 million to $05 billion in the next decade under its “Vision-2025”.
Under the same vision, the PPMA plans to establish at least 10 FDA (US Food and Drug Administration)-accredited medicines’ manufacturing units in Pakistan for exporting medicines.
It was announced at a seminar titled “Pharmaceutical export, the next frontier” held at a local hotel under aegis of PPMA. Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, chief executives of TDAP (Trade Development Authority of Pakistan) and DRAP (Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan), Secretary Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination and other stakeholders attended.
The participants of seminar were informed that the PPMA under the same regime is willing to launch one-window operations in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad where officials of TDAP, DRAP and other concerned departments would sit under one roof to issue all necessary documents required for export of medicines.
The PPMA also demanded that period of one year required for getting registrations for medicines’ exports should also be curtailed to facilitate the country’s pharmaceutical firms.
Participants of the seminar were informed that India, at present, had an international medicines’ export market of $15bn with medicines from the neighbouring country going to all developed countries having stringently regulated pharmaceutical sector and they include Japan, the USA, the UK, Australia and European countries.
On the contrary, Pakistan’s medicines, due to lack of mandatory international certifications, could export medicines to only under-developed countries having semi-regulated pharmaceutical markets mainly in CARs (Central Asian countries), African, Far Eastern and South American regions.
It urged the government to prepare a feasible export regime for Pakistani Pharma industry on the pattern of India where pharmaceutical development fund was established under the export council for providing loans to drug manufacturing units for 10 years on highly subsidized rates.
PPMA Chairman Saeed Allahwalah made a presentation on a comparative study of situation and statistics of medicines’ exports in Pakistan and India.
Dr Kaiser Waheed said that Pakistan’s own pharmaceutical industry had been meeting up to 65 per cent requirement of local medicines’ market whereas the industry had vast potential of exporting medicines provided government extended full support to the industry.
He said Pakistan produces medicines at a cheaper cost than India and as such the industry should get support from the country’s export development funds.
Ministry of National Health Services’ Secretary Muhammad Ayub Sheikh said the DRAP and his ministry should make joint efforts for development of pharmaceutical industry and in this regard no negligence, corruption, or non-cooperation would be tolerated on the part of any relevant authority.