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Massive crackdown against unregistered herbal firms soon.

LAHORE -- A massive crackdown is going to be launched against herbal companies which are not ready to register their herbal products after the expiry of date of application for registration till October 1,2014.

This was stated by Pharmaceutical Legal Expert for Drug Regulations of Ministry of Health and a renowned pharmacist Noor Mohammad Mahar while talking to reporters here on Sunday.

After the formation of Health Bill for Alternative Medicines 2012 on which implementation was started in May 2014, as many as 2400 herbal companies have so far been applied for their registration and this figure is likely to touch 8000 companies till the end of the last date while most including two big companies of herbal products are still reluctant to register their products, he informed.

Under the Herbal Bill, federal and provincial drug inspectors will launch complete crackdown including raids at medical stores to seize products of unregistered companies besides filing cases for prosecution in drug courts.

Under this Act, a punishment of imprisonment from seven to ten years besides cash fine will be awarded to violators of the Herbal Act for not registration of companies and their products.

It was learnt that the companies had been minting money by selling their products without any registration and now started opposing the deadline of 60 days which later extended till October 1, 2014 for registration of their products. Most of such companies have their head offices in Dubai to avert registration and had termed this Act as black law. As per the Act, registration fee for a company is Rs.10,000 while for a medicine, the fee of registration is fixed at Rs250-2,000.

It was learnt that over 30,000 herbal drugs and cosmetic production companies had been operating in the country without any registration and certification from the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP).

It was suggested by some relevant circles of pharmacy that the government should set up a herbal research institution to develop the industry in the country as Pakistan's herbal exports had the big potential to occupy international market. According to a survey conducted in 2004, treatment from herbal medicines has reached 75 percent while the allopathy way of treatment is reduced to 25 percent.

This rising trend of herbal treatment may boost export potential for Pakistani herbal companies after registration because the DRAP will issue certification which is mandatory for export to Europe and other companies, the legal expert maintained.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Sep 15, 2014
Words:408
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