ISLAMABAD: Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), in collaboration with the ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC) will today launch a three-month campaign against spurious, fake and counterfeit drugs so as to make Pakistan free from the menace once and for all.
DRAP Chief Executive Officer Dr Muhammad Aslam said that our resolve for 14 August, is to free Pakistan from spurious, fake, counterfeit and substandard drugs” for our mission which focuses on patients and allows them “access to quality-assured, safe, effective and affordable medicine”.
He said that DRAP, with the support and guidance of the ministry of NHSRC, would launch this programme, following an earlier and similar 3-month campaign, that proved very effective in reducing spurious, fake, substandard and counterfeit drugs from the country.
It resulted in the sealing of hundreds of sales outlets, illegal and non-compliant manufacturing units, as well as arrests of many people with over 1000 FIRs registered, hundreds of impressments and fines levied of over 10 crores, throughout the country last year.
In addition, this extended campaign will also include drive for improving drug quality through an integrated and systematic regulatory compliance for manufacturing facilities and ensuring effective good distribution practices, good pharmacy and sales practices. In this regard, DRAP teams, along with provinces and security agencies, will conduct market surveillance throughout the country, through strategic inspections and drug sampling for spurious drugs and will enforce regulatory compliance at higher level, the CEO added.
Aslam said that DRAP teams will also provide guidance to industry and pharma-trade for improving the quality of manufacturing, distribution, sales and dispensing of therapeutic goods. In this campaign, DRAP teams will meet with heads of Customs, FBR, FIA and other law enforcement agencies, for improving coordination for effective and stringent enforcement of regulatory compliance and to resolve various hurdles and challenges.
DRAP will also organise media engagement and will coordinate with social reformers and consumer protection NGOs to mobilise them for public education and to campaign for not accepting illegal and unregistered products, not compromise on quality of drugs while purchasing, ensure purchase of only genuine products from pharmacies, maintain good pharmacy practices and sell only registered and legal drugs, he maintained.
He said that people need to be educated that they should not respond to illegal advertisements for unregistered products with fake claims. Public will be guided and requested to cooperate and inform DRAP for any availability of spurious drugs or their manufacturing that come in their notice or knowledge, he said.
DRAP has already launched 2D Barcode and notified it’s regulation for pharma products sales pack, which will be fully enforced from December 2017. This internationally applicable tool will help people to authenticate and track the drugs via a cell phone application, before purchasing.