ISLAMABAD

Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi has vowed full support to the pharmaceutical industry. “The Ministry of Industries will actively play its role to strengthen the pharmaceutical industry and to achieve high level of exports,” Minister said during a meeting with a delegation of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Industry (PPMA) led by its President Zahid Saeed yesterday. Jatoi said that pharmaceutical industry is producing high quality essential drugs at affordable prices. He said that technologically strong and self-reliant national pharmaceutical industry cannot only play a key role in promoting and sustaining development in the vital field of medicine in the country but is also well set to take on the international markets. He said that Pakistan pharmaceutical industry has a huge potential as local medicines were best in price and quality.

The delegation informed the minister about the ill-advised policies of the government and undue interference by the National Health Services Ministry, which was causing serious hurdles in the way of growth of the pharma industry. 

The delegation demanded establishment of the Pharma Export Council in the country for increasing annual exports of the industry to $5 billion in next five years. The PPMA said with the present non-conducive policies of the government, the pharma industry could not achieve its "Vision-2020" for increasing medicines' exports from $200 million to $5 billion on an annual basis. It said that the exports of pharma industry stood at $250 million in 2012 which had decreased to $160 million in 2015.

The association also demanded to make Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) an autonomous body. Undue interference of the Ministry of National Health Services in the affairs of DRAP should be stopped forthwith for the sake of autonomy of the authority.