Pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan has the potential
Pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan has the potential to contribute considerably to the global pharma market that is expected to cross the mark of $ 1.25 trillion by the end of next year. The accreditation of the national pharmaceutical firm and LCCI member, Pacific Pharmaceuticals, by the British drug regulatory authority - Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) - will in future open the gates for drug exports to a large market in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and so on from Pakistan.
These views were expressed by the LCCI President Abdul Basit while addressing a Press Conference, along with the LCCI Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, Dr. Muhammad Irfan President Pacific Pharma, Vice President Dr. Qurat ul Ain and LCCI former EC member Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Abdul Basit said that despite challenging conditions, distinction achieved by one of LCCI member companies Pacific Pharma is a healthy sign for the national economy. He said that Pacific is the only Pakistani company which has obtained British certification to explore the market in the developed nations despite tough competition there from India, China and Germany.
The LCCI President said it is a matter of pride, not only for the LCCI but for the country, that Pacific Pharmaceuticals has become first Pakistani company to obtain accreditation from Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), which is a British drug regulator. He said that exports of pharmaceuticals are largely dependent on the capability of a manufacturer to obtain quality and GMP (Global Manufacturing Practices) certification from the regulatory agencies of the importing countries, like Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the US and MHRA in the UK. He said that MHRA certification would allow her company greater access to not only in Europe but also in other developed countries like Australia and New Zealand where the UK certifications are accepted.
“Regulation in developing economies can best be done by adopting those tried and tested procedures as benchmarks that have enabled any local company to earn acceptance in highly developed markets. Pakistan can add billions of dollars to its exchequer if the regulators espouse acknowledged procedures. Regulation, the world over, is exercised to facilitate the producers and protect the consumers. In Pakistan it is usually used to unnecessarily hamper growth and hurt both the producers and the consumers”, the LCCI President added.
He said that developed economies like the United States, Canada, Britain, and European Union countries, Australia and New Zealand provide free or subsidized healthcare to their citizen. They do not buy branded products but prefer generic medicines that are many times cheaper than their branded counterparts. To procure these generic medicines they float global tenders in which only FDA and MHPRA approved companies can participate. In most cases, Indian companies, approved as suppliers of specific medicines by these regulators, win the tenders after competitive bidding.
The drug regulator should concentrate on best manufacturing practices instead of devoting most of its energies on trivial matters like pricing, font size and color. Controlling prices without economic logic has resulted in the withdrawal of many essential drugs from the market paving way for smuggled and spurious drugs, Abdul Basit concluded.
Dr. Aamir and Dr. Qurat ul Ain said that Pacific Pharmaceuticals, which had recently been accredited by the MHRA and is the only Pakistani company that has competed against Indian pharmas and won many orders. Now this company has got the British certification that is accepted by almost all markets where Britain had once ruled. So instead of only EU, it can market its products in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even Bangladesh. This is a great achievement that should be celebrated nationally.