Pharma summit: Govt’s help needed to increase drug exports

‘Need to create a pharma policy research council’.


Express June 14, 2011

KARACHI:


Pakistan’s first Pharma Summit kicked off under the aegis of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufactures’ Association (PPMA) on Tuesday.


The summit titled ‘Reshaping Pakistan Pharma Industry: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities’ was aimed at pressing the government to increase the export of drugs to promote the industry.

Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar urged PPMA to stand for the promotion of industry, saying India organised its first pharma summit in the 1950s, however, Pakistan organised it in 2011. The industry has to rise to enable Pakistan to meet millennium development goals, he said.  Sattar also underlined the need to promote a public-private partnership model in the country, to improve the pharma industry.

He accepted the increase in health and education budget, but emphasised on planning, rather than just raising the budget – saying that without planning fruitful results were not possible.

Pakistan Academy of Sciences President Dr Attaur Rahman said science and technology may facilitate the achievement of millennium development goals through sustained and enhanced economic growth, providing employment opportunities, enhancing market efficiency, tackling population growth issues, among other issues.

However, Getz Pharma (Pvt.) Limited Managing Director Khalid Mahmood said that Pakistan had inadequate infrastructure, adding, there had been no price increase in any pharmaceutical providers in the country since 2001, and input costs had increased by 40 to 60 per cent.

He urged to create a pharma policy research and advocacy council with a team of market-oriented economists and technocrats, who can make recommendations to the government.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2011.

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