Lahore: JUNE 28 – President, Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) Mian Usman Zulfiqar has demanded that Pharmaceutical sector should be regulated by the government in a proper manner so that public can get competitive prices of medicines especially in ongoing pandemic.
Pakistan, with a population of 22 crore, does not have a single pharmaceutical plant that complies with the standards prescribed by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while in India more than 200 plants were approved and even in Bangladesh they have around 8 approved plants too.
Usman Zulfiqar also said it’s unfortunate local pharmaceutical companies failed to cater the needs of the masses, we have seen even in the ongoing pandemic the normal surgical mask prices gone beyond its range including N95 too.
The oxygenator which was available in market before COVID-19 at the rate of around Rs 3000 now its available in the black around Rs 20,000.PBF laminated that Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) are playing in the hands of the pharma companies; “in this regard the observation of the Supreme Court that the pharmaceutical sector was a huge mafia in Pakistan was absolutely right”.
He said Pakistan stood as novel example where mostly local industry didn’t cater the needs of the common man; pharmaceuticals and automobiles sectors are one of them, but their annual profits are at glance.He said both the pharmaceutical companies and buyers are in a state of uncertainty. He said pharmaceutical companies send abroad all profits in the name of buying raw materials.Similarly these companies spend so little on research and development, regardless Pakistan is an emerging market and pharmaceuticals has witnessed double digit growth for the past few years; he added.He also urged government may revisit on the recent hike of pertroleium prices, the Brent was not at that level where you may charge Rs 100 per litre from the common man. There is hike of only 17 percent in brent rate but here we have increased Rs 25 per litre which was too much. He stated through this hike oil marketing companies may get a benefit of around Rs 300 billion.