Prickly business of syringes

Alleged decision of registering companies without manufacturing licences challenged.


Obaid Abbasi May 03, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


A court on Monday asked the heath ministry to submit their reply over a decision to allow local syringe manufactures to work without licenses. Help Pak Foundation filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging Drug Registration Board’s alleged registration of companies without Drug Manufacturing Licenses (DML).


Hep Pak Foundation is a non-government agency working for health care facilities in the country with the focus on Hepatitis B and C. It has filed a writ petition through their counsel Imran Safdar.

The defence counsel contended that Chairman Drugs Registration Board and Ministry of Health had approved the registration of the local manufactures to import the syringes despite the fact that they do not have the required licenses.

He said Chairman Central Licensing Board, who is authorised to accept or reject the application of local manufacturers, has received some applications but final decision has not been taken yet.

Justice Riaz Ahmed of IHC directed Chairman Drugs Registration Board, vice chairman of the same body, National Programme Manager of National Institute of Health (NIH), and chairman Central Licensing Board to submit their reply within two weeks.

The lawyer of the defence maintained that permitting the local manufactures to import syringes is a violation of import and export rules order dated October, 10 2010. He said it is also illegal because these companies do not have DML.

Safdar maintained that Hepatitis Control Programme was launched in 2005 after Rs 2.59 billion was allocated to reduce viral infection, but the desired result could not be achieved.

“Government has further allocated Rs13.90 billion for the next five years to reduce hepatitis in the country but instead illegal registrations are surfacing which will do no good,” he said.

He requested the court to direct the Chairman Drugs Registration Board to cancel the registration application of those companies which do not fulfil the requirements.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2011.

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