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Pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan.

There are about 225 licensed units producing medicines and other pharmaceuticals, of them 32 units are owned by multi-national companies. The 32 multinationals control about 70 per cent of the country's drug market and the rest is shared by 150 Pakistani firms. Despite 85 per cent self sufficiency in its requirements. The country imported Rs. 4.40 billion worth of medical and pharmaceutical products in the last fiscal year ending June 1991 as against RS. 3.723 billion of medicines in the preceding year.

Pakistan's export of medicines and pharmaceuticals has shown a downward trend in 1990-91 came down t Rs. 260.259 million from the preceding years amount of Rs. 382.027 million. Glaxo made a major contribution of Rs. 50 million towards exports. The main contribution was from the export of bulk ranitidine from company's basic manufacturing plant at Lahore. Ranitidine is the active ingredient of the company's anti ulcerant, Zantac which is the world's largest selling drug. The Government has included pharmaceuticals in the list of items for which income tax relief has been increased from 50 per cent of to 75 per cent. Though a welcome step, it falls short of the incentives given by other countries in the region. If the Government is seriously interested in developing exports based on high-tech manufacture, it must consider more attractive incentives. Given suitable incentives, the export of pharmaceuticals can be developed significantly.

At present there are 16 companies on the list of Karachi Stock Exchange. Total sales of these companies in 1990 stood at Rs. 8.03 billion as against sales of Rs. 5.40 billion in 1988 showing a rise of 48 per cent. Part of the increase may be attributed to higher prices. Pretax profit has also increased from Rs. 199.32 million in 1988 to Rs. 543.44 million in 1990 showing a rise of 180 per cent. While the profits have shown an upward trend, rigid price control is adversely affecting the profit margins. This is the major issue confronting the pharmaceutical industry during the last five years.
Import & Export
of Pharmaceuticals
Year Imports Exports
1981-82 1,222 18.3
1982-83 1,3390 27.7
1983-84 1,800 43.2
1984-85 1,974 52,844
1985-86 2,352 44,347
1986-87 2,638 47,800
1987-88 2,852 73.407
1988-89 3,131 110.419
1989-90 3,723 382.027
1990-91 4,407 260.259
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Economic Review
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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