Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair has said that he is willing to play a mediatory role between pharmaceutical companies of the province and Punjab government in order to to resolve the reservations of medicine manufacturers regarding the newly adopted Punjab Drugs (Amendment) Law-2017.
Sindh Governor stated this as he met the Central Chairman of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA) Dr. Kaiser Waheed at Governor House, according to PPMA press release.
Sindh governor said on the occasion that he would soon talk to Punjab chief minister to convey the serious reservations of medicines manufacturers in his province regarding the newly passed Punjab Drugs (Amendment) Law-2017.
The PPMA chairman informed the governor that medicine manufacturers in Sindh accounted for up to 70% drugs being supplied and consumed all over the country.
He told the governor that Pharmaceutical companies in Sindh were not at all happy about the passage of Punjab Drugs (Amendment) Law as in its aftermath the uniform and the nationwide regulatory system for manufacturing, trade, distribution, and sale of medicines in Pakistan was no longer valid as Punjab had virtually adopted its own regime to control the Pharma sector.
Dr. Waheed said on the occasion that as the new provincial drug amendment law was implemented in the neighboring province, owners of Pharma companies in Sindh feared getting harsh punishment if medicines produced by them and supplied to Punjab were found there to have been of substandard quality.
He said that 10 years’ imprisonment and fine up to Rs 100 million was too harsh a set of punishment for a licensed and authorized manufacturer of medicines if by chance his medicinal product turned out to be substandard and unfit for human consumption.
He said the newly passed drugs amendment law had negated the globally accepted and applicable procedure, which had to be adopted if a medicine was found to have become substandard and unfit for human consumption. This procedure calls for immediate recall from the market of all such defective batches of drugs and in its place a supply of freshly manufactured batches of same medicine.
The PPMA chairman said that properly manufactured medicines could turn out to be of inferior quality due to sudden and slight variation of temperature and moisture as in such an instance contents of medicines could not meet globally acceptable pharmaceutical safety standards. However, owners of the medicine firms should not have to face such stern retribution comprising a prolonged jail term and slapping of heavy fine for such an accidental and unintentional variation in quality of drugs produced by them.
Dr. Waheed informed the governor that multinational manufacturers of medicines had already left the country due to unfavorable environment of the country to conduct business and their failure to obtain a rational increase in prices of medicines produced by them. This could likely to be the turn of local manufacturers of medicines to shut down their businesses in view of the harsh laws applied to them at provincial level, he said.
Meanwhile, Sindh governor also informed the PPMA chairman on the occasion about resolve of both provincial and federal governments to support industries in the province and to upgrade infrastructure and facilities of different industrial zones. The governor said that prime minister was also keen to witness the country attaining economic and industrial development and progress.