PPMA perturbed by Health Ministry devolution | Pakistan Today

PPMA perturbed by Health Ministry devolution

ISLAMABAD – Expressing concern over the devolution of the health ministry, the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has said that the decision would prove to be disastrous for an industry which registered a growth of 37 percent in exports during 2010.
The apprehension of pharmaceutical manufacturers regarding the devolution was highlighted at the ‘Devolution of health sector and its impact on the pharma industry’ seminar, organised by the Association of Health Journalists in collaboration with the National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH). Media, lawmakers and officials from the ministry were present on the occasion. Speaking at the event, Chairman Standing Committee on Health of the National Assembly, Dr Nadeem Ehsaan asserted that his committee had already suggested that all subjects related to drug registration, pricing and manufacturing should remain a federal subject.
“NA Standing Committee on Health will meet Senator Raza Rabbani in the last week of February or in March and will raise all these issues,” he said. Ahsaan also informed the audience that he was also going to call a meeting of provincial secretaries of health underling the important issue next month. “We will fight this case in the assembly and with the team of Senator Raza Rabbani”, he assured representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.
PPMA Chairman Haroon Qasim said that the industry might face losses running into billions of rupees due to prevailing uncertainty between the small and large drug manufacturers due to the devolution of powers. Qasim was of the view that drug manufacturers are perturbed by developments in the drug and medicine sector, which was the part of the concurrent list, had become provincial subject and provinces were asked to establish infrastructure for drug registration.
“The centre took 40 years to develop drug testing and registration mechanism and it is not possible to create a similar system in the provinces in the course of a single year,” he pointed out.
He went on to say, “like drug registration, the licensing of new companies, renewal of the contracts, imports and exports of raw material and the furnished goods and determination of drug prices would also be affected by the establishment of new system”.
Barrister Ali Zafar elaborated on legal aspects of the ministry’s devolution and opined that there would be no uniform quality control mechanism in case the provinces were to govern and regulate drugs and medicines.
He said that if provinces were to govern and regulate procedures for registration, it could have a devastating impact. He hypothesised that a drug under the name ‘X’ may be registered in Sindh for pain relief, and a drug also named ‘X’ can be registered in Punjab as medication for cholesterol control. “The confusion this situation will entail could cause serious health hazards and would directly contribute to a rise in morbidity and mortality with two drugs, having two totally different medicinal properties, would be available in the same province under the same name but registered in different provinces,” he indicated.
He suggested that a Drug Regularity Authority (DRA) should be formed and assigned all relevent tasks and proposed a 19th amendment to the Constitution to allow for the inclusion of ‘Drugs and medicines’ in the Federal Legislative List or to append “Drugs and medicines” in Article 142 (b) of the Constitution.
Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, backing the formation of DRA, said it was an answer to the woes of the pharmaceutical sector.

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One Comment;

  1. sardar anwar said:

    i dont know that what is going on. this is an other proof of failure of present government. about 35 new manufacturing units are waiting for registration of their drgs and to start their business, but the governnment are establishment are still behind each other

    they have no concern about the jobs of people in theses 35 new units whcih are going to be closed agian due to delay in the registration.

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