LAHORE - As new govt came into existence, everyone was hopeful to see the changes for betterment but it is a sad state of affairs that till now government has not been able to appoint the CEO of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and such an important body and institution is being run headlessly.
Pharmaceutical industry is among the many others that has been neglected for quite a long time and the new health ministry, which was supposed to work promisingly to support the industry via drug regulatory authority of Pakistan, is unfortunately unable to devise any policy to provide relief to the industry and people. While there were many decisions that posed direct threat to the industry and poor patients, the most shocking one by DRAP is related to toll manufacturing as it is reluctant to adopt the globally accepted practice of contract manufacturing by issuing licence of toll manufacturing for the period of 3 months only.
It is a practice in which a multinational company outsources or sublets its drug manufacturing to any other company in order to reduce cost. This relation of mutual benefit not only helps a company to save cost but helps other companies to learn quality manufacturing, technology transfer and experience to come up with their own international standard brands in future while also facilitating patients to get quality medicines at affordable price.
The practice is not only restricted to pharma industry but other manufacturing sectors as well for instance in Pakistan soap manufacturing, let it be a local brand or multinational brand, being manufactured by a local manufacture and as a result now their manufacturing efficiencies are unbeatable.
A source at a pharmaceutical company said, “Many reputable companies particularly multinationals that were being forced to wind up their manufacturing facilities due to pricing issues, have outsourced their products to the domestic pharmaceutical firms practicing best manufacturing practices with permission from Ministry of Health so that patients continue to have access to quality medicines.”
“DRAP’s policy of issuing licences of contract manufacturing for 3 months only is a ridiculous step and should be replaced by an open policy in order to support local industry and patient welfare,” he suggested.