Some credit does go to the previous Government for performing well in certain fields of economy by encouraging trading, investments in stock ex changes, real estate, and financial sectors, which flourished like never before in the history of Pakistan. The previous Government, however, not only failed in development of industrial sector rather as most people believe that the government policies discouraged the growth of this sector in general. Some people believe that the step motherly treatment met to the industrial sector of Pakistan was done deliberately to weaken the backbone of the country by destroying the industrial sector. It could be deliberate or may be due to the nit wittedness on part of the policy makers. There is hardly any need to emphasize that the industrial growth is the backbone of any economy without which no economy could claim to be on sound and solid footings. Examples of Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh and many others are evidence of the fact. These countries could not have made inroads into exports market nor meet demands of their domestic markets without strong industrial base. The industrial sectors like textile, cement and sugar were pride of Pakistan, particularly the textile sector which contributed to the extent of 70% of the total exports of Pakistan at one time are in real mess only because of the lopsided policies rather discouraging attitude adapted by the then Government. The backbone of Pakistan's industry, the Textile Industry has ended up in closing down of more than 100 units, billions of dollars investment in machinery and infrastructure have gone waste, over 200,000 workers rendered jobless. It seems that now is the turn of Pharmaceutical Industry of Pakistan to go down the drain. About two decades ago, we had about 140 pharmaceutical manufacturing companies operating in Pakistan which number has now increased by three times being over 400. This growth has resulted in ensuring medicines of highest quality at economical prices for the people of Pakistan. It will not be out of place to mention that Pharmaceutical Industry is fully documented and totally controlled by the government. The maximum retail price of each and every medicine manufactured by each and every company is controlled. This industry has never been given any incentive or subsidy by the government in the history of the country, whereas on the other hand this key industry has to bear the same taxes and levies as by the other industries, the prices of end-products of which industries are not controlled. This is highly discriminatory that this most sensitive industry is the only industry, which is subjected to rigid price control yet this industry has not been allowed any increase in maximum retail prices of its products in last eight years. The apathy and self-contradictory policies of the government with regard to the Pharmaceutical Industry are not understandable at all. Last price increase to the Pharmaceutical Industry was allowed on 10 December 2001. It is worthwhile mentioning that Pakistan hardly produces any pharmaceutical raw material and invariably almost all raw materials used by the Pharmaceutical Industry are imported from Europe, China and other countries. Even a layman can understand the rapid devaluation of Pak Rupee against major currencies of the world, which has made the imported raw material much costlier in term of Pak Rupee. The cost of all other inputs including the salaries of the staff have increased manifold. Euro has registered an increase of 95%, US Dollar by 15%, petrol by 125%, the diesel used for boilers and power generation has registered an increase of 245%, as compared to 10 December 2001 when the last price adjustment in the prices of medicines was allowed. Yet another indirect burden is contribution of 1% of gross sales towards Research and Development Fund of the Ministry of Health. No one knows how this fund is utilized and for what purposes. This levy is over and above the R and D expenses incurred by each company for research. No investment has been made to establish Clinical Research Organisations (CROs) and Accredited Labs play a vital role in development of pharma industry and Pakistan has had no such Accredited Lab besides, the country lacks FDA-WHO approved facilities. An accreditation pharma plant by the WHO costs Rs. 1-2 billion besides $ 2-3 million as its annual expenditures on validation and certification, while India owns 72 FDA-approved plants and 58 CROs. In the contemporary age of globalization, like any industry export has a vital role in growth of pharmaceutical industry too. Unfortunately, absence of Government support and lengthy procedures involved in export of pharmaceuticals are detrimental to the growth of industry. Needless to add that China and India have emerged as economical API producing countries in the world and several of Indian manufactures are approved in global market. This growth of Indian and Chinese pharmaceutical industry is attributable to supportive Government policies towards pharmaceutical industry. On the other hand, Pakistani pharmaceutical industry mainly relies on import of pharmaceutical raw material. There are only a very few API manufacturers in Pakistan and none is approved in developed countries, whereas only approved raw material source is allowed to get export business in foreign countries. It acts as a barrier to export of pharmaceuticals to developed countries even if the plant is approved by their regulatory authorities. Permission for import of raw material from India will be cost effective and will facilitate the export activities in regulatory compliant countries as well. It is high time that the present government takes urgent measures to save most sensitive and most vital Pharmaceutical Industry from total collapse. The writer is Former Chairman, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association