ISLAMABAD- The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) today asked the pharmaceutical companies to improve quality of their products.

Manufacturers must refocus to address current processes, practices and systems, and take a hard line on improving their overall quality and compliance efforts, it said. Excessive attention on new drugs and profits has compromised the quality of medicine manufacturing facilities in Pakistan, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Many companies in Pakistan have failed to prefer quality over other consideration while paying little attention to corrective and preventive actions, complaint investigation, product rejections, recalls, deviations, audits, inspections and monitoring, he said.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that it was embarrassing that international donors would buy medicines from other countries to distribute among displaced or people affected from natural disasters. Donors say that they wanted to buy drugs from Pakistan to boost economy but quality issues have blocked any such move which can be settled if good manufacturing practices are applied.

The lax attitude of pharma regulators is also to be blamed for the sad state of affairs, he said adding that medical ethics are very important which needed to be handled by all stakeholders including patients, physicians and companies.

Not a single Pakistani product has been approved by WHO or FDA while the number of companies producing FDA approved drugs in India stands at 240; he said adding that even Bangladesh has some companies manufacturing FDA approved drugs.