ISLAMABAD: Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Registration Division of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has been continuously working on the digital listing of all registered drugs to facilitate concerned stakeholders and healthcare professionals.
According to an official of DRAP, this facility will ensure quality drugs from licensed manufacturers or importers, in the market and will also help address the problems of drug shortages.
He added that online access to this database will strengthen the regulatory system in order to eradicate unregistered, substandard, spurious, falsified and counterfeit drug products from the country.
DRAP has initiated the process of computerisation of decades-old manual drug registration record dating back to 1976, and a provisional database has been uploaded on the official website of DRAP, that contains information of drugs registered by the registration board.
This information mainly includes registration number, proprietary or brand name, generics name with composition and name of manufacturer or importer.
However, as the process of computerisation has been initiated for the first time, therefore, the record is under continuous verification and scrutiny.
DRAP has also invited stakeholders to review information related to their products and has directed them to contact the division in case of any discrepancy and provide references for further verification against the DRAP record before the authority finalises and declares this information.
The 1976 Drug Act requires pharmaceutical companies that manufacture, import or export drugs for commercial use to be registered prior to their availability in the market.
The Drug Registration Board approves the applications for registration of drugs according to the procedure laid down in the LRA (Licensing, Registering and Advertising) Rules 1976.
The availability of online database containing updated information of registered drugs will help federal and provincial regulators to determine whether products that are being marketed have been approved by the Drug Registration Board.
The DRAP official said that computerisation of drug registration record has also disturbed the miscreants and they are spreading disinformation.
As per the present policy for transparency and open access, divisions of DRAP regularly upload the minutes of meetings of their respective bodies including registration board, central licensing board, enlistment evaluation committee on DRAP’s website, to ensure transparency, fair practices across the board and data integrity.
He said that new initiatives of DRAP regarding modernisation of drug registration process to international standards will ensure the provision of quality drugs which have created trouble for a few culprits who are trying to malign the officials of DRAP through baseless complaints to divert public attention from their misdoings.