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Threatened by 40,000 Indian companies, pharma sector concerned over Drug Pricing Policy draft

Threatened by 40,000 Indian companies, pharma sector concerned over Drug Pricing Policy draft

KARACHI:Pharma Bureau Co-Chairman Arshad Hussain said lack of a functioning regulatory environment conforming to international standards, leads to a failure in articulating a policy where prices are adjusted in a predictable and transparent manner is the main impediment to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharma Bureau is the association of the research based multinational pharmaceutical companies operating in Pakistan. He added that the draft Drug Pricing Policy does not reflect the numerous discussions held between the industry and the govt over the past eight years.

He said, “We have expressed our serious reservations on this draft to the government.” Arshad Hussain said that if the present form of the policy is approved, it would result in severe shortages of essential and life-saving medicines. Also, there would be no further introduction of new therapies which actually deprive the patients of Pakistan from the benefits of quality products which will be replaced by sub-standard/ fake medicines.

He maintained drugs will be cheaper for the rich and more expensive for the poor and threat to the continuation of patient access programmes under which thousands of poor critically ill patients are provided with the latest life-saving therapies for free.

As per the chairman of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association quoting a World Health Organisation report said majority of medicines manufactured in India are not up to international standards and 60 per cent of total counterfeit drugs used in the world are manufactured in India only.

He said the local industry though has improved a lot in the last 30 years on their own and with out any government support and 95 percent medicines in the country and in various hospitals are used of national companies still it cannot compete with the Indian pharmaceutical industry of 40,000 companies.