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Indigenous Industry of Medicines
Pro. Safdar Sandal is a great writer and industrialist of Sialkot city
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Indigenous Industry of Medicines 

It has proudly been claimed by the ‘Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry’ that it has successfully acquired ability and met 95% of the country’s medicine requirement and the country’s imports have dropped up to merely 5 percent and that too are  required in  rudimentary form to be developed in country later on. These consist of medicines based on new molecules and compounds and new research-based products. The later (5%) will be recovered in due course of time too. Here, we must not forget that originally only 5% medicines were produced at the start of Pakistan’s medicine-history.  Pakistan had inherited only 14 big industries at the time of its birth in 1947. The rest were gone to or shifted to India.  Consequently here; we the people of Pakistan started from a scratch for nearly every industry including Pharmaceutical.  Majestically, Pakistan has now become an important exporter of medicines to under-developed or third world countries, developing countries and has also included some developed ones, mainly because of a presentable high quality and quantity.

The ‘Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan’ (DRAP) has allowed the import of some finished products however, from China and India.  But this factor has been desisted and declared as disastrous by the union of the ‘Pharmaceutical Industry of Pakistan’ and quite rightly so. If we take into consideration, the import of raw wool in the beginning from Australia for use in our hand woven carpets exported to the world-markets in huge numbers yielding foreign exchange and bring a huge price only after getting  converted in finished product; now Pakistani wool has replaced the Australian wool which is a welcome sign.  Subsequently, we shall realize the justification of our pharmaceutical industry to disallow the imports from India and China in finished form of some pharmaceutical products when we have the ability to develop them locally in better format and in good quality.  It may probably be due to some vested interests working behind the scene as it appears from the argument and this practice happens quite often in Pakistan which is to be resisted severely.   It has to be probed entirely and checked strictly with iron hand.

Above views were expressed by Senior Vice Chairman of ‘Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association’ (PPMA) during a meeting with President ‘Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry’ and President ‘Federation of Pakistan Chamber & Industry’. Even though Pakistani drugs have a higher acceptance rate in the international market than India’s, but the actual fact is that India’s export of medicines is more than Pakistan’s. The main reason is the political mileage which Pakistan’s has got decreased in the past decade due manipulated  regime changes, economic instability , political turmoil and dissatisfaction of masses in the systems, nature’s calamities caused by frequent floods and  Covid -caused slow growth of economy in the country’s export markets of other countries similarly affected. As soon political stability is gained, stability in trade and commerce will consequently come back.  Pharmaceutical industry which has a great potential due its better quality, competitive price and high demand, shared acceptability by the end-user; the export will boost manifold and lead the South Asian region and enter the world economic arena.

Health :  “Pakistan to sink in swamp of diabetes, if no immediate policy action taken” :  (Experts).            It is an irony that diabetes in Pakistan is increasing at an alarming rate, despite the fact that its people have moderate living-means. But the current situation is that Pakistan has third highest burden of people living with diabetes and the rate at which the diabetes is increasing is alarming. Pakistan is the country with fastest growth of diabetes. In just two years, number of people living with diabetes has increased from 19.4 million to 33 million.  If you happen to visit a doctor for any disease: his first question before diagnostic proceeding will be to ask you if you are not diabetic..?  Luckily there are yet a majority of people who are non-diabetic and they are mostly young people or have taken precautionary measures during their lifetime, like avoiding eating too much of sweets, doing physical exercise especially having a walking habit all their life and are thus immune from this diabolic-diabetes disease spreading fastly, which ultimately affects the span of life and is pitiably on growth worldwide.

For Pakistan, if no urgent policy action is taken, number of people living with diabetes will increase to 62 million by 2045. Sugary drinks are major contributors to diabetes. Government shall take immediate policy actions to reduce their consumption. This was stated by health experts at “Dissemination of International Diabetic Federation” organized by “Pakistan National Heart Association” (PANAH) at a local hotel in Islamabad.  The scribe wishes for a healthy society to flourish.

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