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WHO’s initiative against corruption in Pharma

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A new comprehensive programme named – Good Governance for Medicine (GGM) has been launched by the World Health Organization (WHO). This global programme and its objectives will also be pursued in Pakistan. The objectives include; prevention of corruption in the pharmaceutical sector through measures to promote good-governance, while ensuring the common man’s access to basic medicine.

Medicines take up a dominant ratio of Medical and health expenditure across the world. The GGM Programme is a pioneering initiative to enable a positive revolution in the healthcare system. It dictates transparency and reforms in; registration, manufacturing, distribution, supply and selling of drugs. It will help the Pakistan’s pharma industry in avoiding major crises like; the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore scam, where hundreds of people lost their lives due to the supply of poor quality medicine.

WHO Pakistan’s Country advisor on Essential Medicines – Syed Khalid Saeed Bukhari said; The WHO had selected 15 countries from 22 member states of the Eastern Mediterranean region, including Pakistan, to run the global programme as a pilot project. The other countries are; Lebanon, Jordan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunis, Syria and Yemen. The GGM Progamme currently operates in 26 countries across the six WHO regions and these states are at different stages of implementation. Other major reasons associated with the scheme are to curb corruption in pharmaceutical sector by increasing transparency and accountability and promoting ethical practices.

He further stated that; The federal and all provincial governments have nominated two each adviors/assessors for this programme, while four are nominated by the private sector. Ta total of 30 advisors will be engaged by the WHO to materialize the scheme. The WHO had initiated the programme in 2004, keeping in view the health sector, a very real target for corruption and other unethical practices. The WHO had been giving much weightage to this programme because; despite many efforts to make essential medicines accessible to all, it was estimated that one-third of the global population did not have regular access to them.

Mr. Bukhari further said that; The GGM programme was launched in 3 phases that include; National transparency assessment, development of a national GGM framework and Implementation. The scheme would be materialized within about three months in phases. In the wake of its starting phase the first session of experts of both; the WHO and Pakistani nominated advisers was held in Lahore recently.

April 21, 2014

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