Transparency is the biggest challenge while dealing with Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan: Minister Saira Afzal Tarar

Karachi, May 03, 2016 (PPI-OT):Minister of State for Health Saira Afzal Tarar has said the basic challenge her ministry has been facing regarding Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DPRAP) is transparency as authorities in the ministry have to fix this issue.

“In the present times everyone knows what the other person is doing. It is my very humble suggestion to the Pharma industry that please help us by not giving anything to anyone. If your business is going to stop, it will not stop as we are going to help you,” said the State Minister for National Health Service, Regulations, and Coordination while advising Pharmaceutical industry leaders and executives gathered at 2nd Pakistan Pharma Summit on Tuesday to be fair in their dealings with DRAP.

Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) organized 2nd Pakistan Pharma Summit with nationwide and international experts related to Pharma industry in attendance. The State Health minister expressed hope that new blood coming into DRAP would definitely bring some change in functioning of the Pharma industry regulator. She said that her ministry after due authorization of the government would recruit some 2,000 employees and 60 interns to help facilitate working of Pharmaceutical sector regulator.

She also conceded that people at present associated with DRAP lacked capacity to work in accordance with international regulatory standards. The State minister said that there were some very good people associated with DRAP but working of the authority could not be improved till the time mechanism of working and technology being used by it was changed.

She said that a project had been approved with a cost of Rs 145 million for upgrading the Central Drugs Laboratory of DRAP to make it accredited with World Health Organization is this would also help a lot the local Pharma industry in view of the prospects of exports.

She lamented that DRAP, which had come into existence in 2012 had not even able to purchase furniture for its offices owing to restrictions prescribed by PPRA (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) as employees of the authority could have to face inquiry by FIA or NAB if there was any complaint filed by any one from the society regarding deviation from the govt’s procurement rules.

She said the government had also been thinking to adopt a different mechanism to deal with Pharmaceutical industry, which had been planning to invest to improve their infrastructure. “We can help them in exports, we can help them in pricing, exempt them from a few inspections,” said the State minister.

She said that Pakistan had phenomenal potential for doing quality drugs exports as the government would encourage and facilitate manufacturers in Pharmaceutical sector in every aspect. She said the govt would provide ease of doing manufacturing and business for exports of medicines from the country.

Talking about national health sector indicators, the State minister conceded that health indicators were a cause of collective shame for the country. She, however, said that government alone could not held responsible for such a shameful situation as there should be a sense of collective responsibility shown by all the concerned quarters in the society.

Earlier in his speech, PPMA Chairman Hamid Raza said that revenues of Pharmaceutical industry the world over had reached one trillion Dollars while in year 2020 these revenues would reach 1.6 trillion US Dollars. He said that Pakistan pharmaceutical sector with 03 billion Dollars sales volume accounted for 0.212 per cent of the global pharma industry.

He said that Pakistan was among 35 countries of the world, which had been fulfilling up to 90 per cent medicines requirements of their respective country. He said that Pharmaceutical industry of the country had become largest employer of urban area graduates. He said that Pakistani Pharma industry had massive potential for doing exports of medicines from the country given proper incentives, regulatory framework, and investment for infrastructural improvement and upgrading of the manufacturing facilities.

Chairman of the organizing committee of 2nd Pharma Summit Dr Kaiser Waheed said that Pakistan could easily compete with India in Pharmaceutical manufacturing sector with provision of proper facilities and incentives under conducive regulatory environment even though India was called these days pharmacy of the world.

Dr. Muhammad Aslam, CEO DRAP, Khalid Mehmood, CEO Getz Pharma, and Prof. Dr. Marcel Corstjens, an international expert on Pharmaceutical sector, MD-Indus Pharma Zahid Saeed, CEO-Schazoo Zaka Mian Muhammad Zaka ur Rehman, CEO-GSK Sohail Matin, CEO-Nabi Qasim Industries Muhammad Ali Majid, MD-Martin Dow Tariq Wajid, MD-Sante Tauqeer ul haq, MD-Searle Pakistan Nadeem Ahmed and CEO-OBS TAREK M. Khan and others also made their presentation giving local, regional, and international prospective of growth and expansion of the medicines industry.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA)
Office No. 03, 2nd Floor, Al- Babar Centre, F-8, Markaz,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Phone: (051) 2850300 – 2818251
Fax: (051) 2818252