The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has appealed to Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif to take immediate notice of the miseries of pharmaceutical sector of Punjab and order to resolve their issues on priority.
While supporting the cause voiced by the pharmaceutical industry, , the LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa and Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that matter should be resolved at the earliest to protect economic interests of the country.
They said that in recent past, Punjab government made amendments in Punjab Drug Act 2017 against which people from pharmaceutical industry staged a protest in February of this year. A very untoward incident occurred on the occasion in which 14 people including 2 senior officers of Punjab Police were martyred at the spot. They said that after this tragedy, government postponed the implementation of amendments made in the Drug Act. They said that over 20 meetings were held and talks were going on to address the genuine reservations of the pharma industry while Provincial Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah had promised to get final draft of negotiated amendments approved by the Punjab Assembly but all of a sudden earlier amendments in Drug Act 2017 have been implemented without taking stakeholders on board. They said that E&Y Company has started action and sent a team for visit to a factory. They said that E&Y has hired junior locals who have almost no experience but they are asking question to those who have experiences of decades.
The LCCI office-bearers said that Drug Act regulators should take stakeholders on board while taking any decision or amendment in the act otherwise changes would not be acceptable. They said that if Drug Regulators continue such action against pharmaceutical sector, whole system would be destroyed and World Health Organization and other concerned international agencies related to pharma would declare Pakistan an unfavorable nation that would be a big blow to Pakistan’s economy.
The LCCI office-bearers said that Punjab government should immediately withdraw amendments in Punjab Drug Act 2017 as these have pushed stakeholders to the wall and they are about to face huge financial losses.
They appealed to the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif to intervene in the matter and salvage the sector from economic disaster by withdrawing the amendments in the Punjab Drug Act 2017.