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Plight of pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Plight of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in Pakistan are the worst hit over the last several years, through misguided policies, obdurate bureaucracy, over regulation, devaluation and inflation and unnerving pressures from all quarters, have time and again brought this industry to an imminent collapse. Several excellent studies have been made by various bodies, authorities and committees especially appointed by the government from time to time who are aware of the fact that high inflation and steep devaluation cannot keep the industry sailing for long; if it wants to expand, modernise and maintain its quality control without permission to adjust prices in the same proportion.

It is worth mentioning that Pakistan is importing nearly all of the basic ingredients required to manufacture a quality drug, yet the retail prices in most of the high selling product are the lowest in the world even in comparison with our neighbour India.

It should be noted that India is indigenously manufacturing many important basic materials including machinery and equipment and continues to develop, as it is able to maintain reasonable profits required to expand due to their practical and India's nationalistic policy; while our policy appears to be ZIONIST and antinational eg. Import of finished drugs which negates development of Industry, employment, technology, infrastructure, and produce less taxes and spends higher valuable foreign exchange is DUTY FREE, while local manufacturers have to pay all sort of taxes and regulatory duties, undergo multifariers unnerving checks, requirements inspite of the fact it is providing all those things which a finished imported drug negates. This certainly puts a penalty on the manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs.

Growth of Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmaceutical Industry is almost entirely dominated by the private sector. More than 95 per cent of the total investment of Rs. 2.7 billion is in the private sector. Capacity utilization varies but the average is estimated at 60 to 70 per cent capacity.

It must be noted, that at the time of partition in 1947, Pharmaceuticals Industry was non existent in Pakistan. In a short span of time Pharmaceutical manufacturers are technically well equipped and are manufacturing high quality products in nearly all dosage forms worth mentioning. The growth could have been unprecedented in the history of the world, had the government given due attention to this important industry which is a necessity for the people of Pakistan. It is worth mentioning inspite of the fact that Pharmaceutical Industry can fulfil the entire requirement, a substantial amount of foreign exchange is spent on import of finished medicines on which duty is totally exempted to defeat the National Industries. During the years 1987-88 and 1988-89 foreign exchange to the extent Rs. 2.9 billion and Rs. 3.3 billion, was spent on the import of finished products. The local industries have to import most of their input material required to manufacture a drug which is approx. 40 per cent on the average against the cost of importing of finished products. We hardly have few items manufactured as basic input materials within the country, due to the absence of a NAPHTHA CRACKER/petro chemical industry. The second stage basic manufacturing is not feasible, as protection is not available from the government.

However, the multinationals must be forced to start basic manufacturing as it is a pre-requisite to their permission for local manufacturing, and they can afford the financial pinch. It would certainly help to improve local technology, employment and growth within the country.

Conclusion

[right arrow] Health care in most countries revolves around four segments; Government, Medical Professionals, Pharmaceutical Industries and Pharmacies. [right arrow] Health care of the people is the responsibility of the government which provides subsidised medical treatment, clean drinking water, sanitation etc. However in the total scheme of things drugs constitute only a small, yet the most important part of our health needs.

It will be a loss to the people of Pakistan if supply of drugs and discovery of new medicines is curtailed by unnecessary politically and ideologically motivated regulations and bureaucratic controls that can only hurt the pharmaceutical industry, and in turn the people they are intended to help.

In order to develop and meet the increased requirement of drugs and medicines and to further reduce country's dependence on Imported drugs and increase exports, we must do some of the things mentioned below: a) Prices Decontol. b) Duty free import of Machines/Quality

Assurance equipment for balancing

and modernization. c) Encouraging Registration for new

products and banning immediately

imported finished drugs. d) GMP must be regulated according to

the possible conditions of Pakistan

with constant yearly training and semi

nars for production of QA People.

S.O.S.

Peoples government had a contract by giving millions to COTECNA, Swiss Company for valuation of any goods or materials imported in Pakistan from anywhere around the globe. The said company was supposed to issue NOC before shipment otherwise custom clearance cannot be done in Pakistan. COTECNA has to check if correct valuation had been given and the quality is right but that does not mean our customs should honour that document. China has disallowed its exports from inspection by COTECNA and Japan has no office of the said firm. Consignments are being delayed and in many cases shipments are not taking place and even good arrived in Pakistan are facing clearance difficulty. Government is requested to delete COTECNA clause with immediate effect to save the forecast shortages due to folly of COTECNA clause.

PHOTO : Dr. Mohammad Tariq Siddiqi Chief Executive - EPLA
COPYRIGHT 1990 Economic and Industrial Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Siddiqi, Mohammad Tariq
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Aug 1, 1990
Words:915
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