Eradication of spurious drugs in the country

April 07, 2016

 Islamabad, 07-04-2016: Minister, National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar, said challenges that the pharmaceutical sector in particular is bound to face in the coming years. In fact the emerging open world economy and trade system, after trade liberalization regime, has created an ocean in which only such ships shall sail which are well equipped with the modern technology and new ideas, to face the rough and high tides of competition in the international market. To visualize the future it is important to glance critically at the past performances. She was addressing inaugural ceremony of this Seminar on Eradication of spurious drugs in the country”.

She said, pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan is capable of producing all kinds of quality pharmaceutical dosage forms. The gap between the local manufacture and the imports has been reduced to a significant level.

Minister said, It is not difficult to visualize that in the coming years only such enterprises will survive and grow which have strong Research and Development footings. Unfortunately, the performance of our pharmaceutical industries in the Research and Development of new drugs or making new inventive improvements over the existing ones or developing of new dosage forms has been very disappointing. This is the right time that the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association should takes steps for the performance of its professional duties and set up a Center of Excellence for Research and Development in this sector.  

Minister said, Government is fully conscious to upgrade the Drug Testing Laboratories particularly the priority is been given to WHO accreditation of Central Drug Laboratory (CDL), Karachi and National Control Laboratory for Biological (NCLB), Islamabad with the help of WHO. Here I take pleasure that with continuous efforts of the Ministry, Federal Drug Surveillance Laboratory (FDSL) purpose built building is going to be handed over back to the Laboratory and a State of Art Laboratory of International Standards will In-Sha-Allah soon be functional. Quality Management System workshops have been organized and the capacity building of the staff is given prime importance. 

She said,The advent of WTO era has exposed our Pharma industry to a tough competition, both at the domestic as well as international fronts. We must therefore get to invest more in the human capital, especially for capacity building with the objective of developing a well educated and trained work force capable of producing quality drugs for domestic and International market. The rapid advancement in Pharmaceutical technology in past few years has turned this industry to a precision industry, where minute details are to be fully taken care of.

Minister said, Federal Government strongly support and encourage such activities, which, in fact, augment the efforts, our ministry has been making for past few years in combating the menace of  Spurious, Substandard and counterfeit drugs.

Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has seriously accepted the task of combating the Mafia involved in the manufacturing of Spurious and Substandard medicines in the country. All the field offices of DRAP in the different provinces have been asked to keep a strict watch on this criminal trade. DRAP with FIA and other law enforcement agencies had decided to take an urgent initiative to get whole of the criminals involved in this trade eliminated to safe guard public at large.

She said,The retail outlets are the main source for the sale of spurious drugs and subject of sale is mainly monitored by the Provincial Governments. Inter Provincial Quality Control Vigilance Committee (QCVM) has been constituted for this very purpose. Actions have been started against manufacturers who were found involved in the production of sub-standard, spurious and un-registered drugs. DRAP is working on zero tolerance policy for all such cases.  Training has been given to our Federal Inspectors of Drugs with the help of WHO.

The Ministry, in collaboration with international organizations like WHO and other International Health Partners has undertaken a number of programmes to strengthen and upgrade the technical manpower in the areas of Manufacturing, Quality Control, Storage and Dispensing of drugs.

She said,Good Governance in Medicines is another project started by the Ministry of which first phase has been completed successfully and now Pakistan is one of the few countries who have accepted this challenge to promote transparency in the fields of Registration, Licensing, Pricing, Manufacturing of Medicines and its post marketing surveillance.