Reps said several companies have shifted abroad while others stopped production.
This was stated by representatives of the pharmaceutical industry while briefing the media on Wednesday, according to a press release. “The delay in price revision, contract, manufacturing and set up mechanisms for the industry will lead to the closure of plants,” said industry representatives.
They said the situation is alarming as local companies have stopped producing drugs for which they were granted licenses as it is not commercially viable.
Thyroxin, a life-saving drug, is one such example where a multinational is only manufacturing the tablets as part of its corporate social responsibility campaign. The drug is so cheap that most of it is smuggled out of the country and sold in places such as Sri Lanka, India and Thailand at well over three times the price, said the representatives.
Pharma Bureau Chairman Tariq Wajid said the representatives of the pharmaceutical industry have discussed these issues several times with higher-ups of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination but to no substantial avail.
Due to the uncertain environment, world-renowned brands like Bristol-Myers Squibb, MSD and Searle have shut down businesses, while most other companies have shelved their expansion plans, they said.
Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association Chairman Nasir Chaudhry said, “Pakistan can enhance its exports from roughly $180 million today to around $3 billion if companies are allowed to make reasonable profits on their domestic market products and apply the required protocols for exports.”