Federal Minister for National Regulations and Services Dr Ferdous Ashiq Awan has said despite a growth rate of 7 percent of the pharma industry, not a single company was producing medicines approved by World Health Organization (WHO).

In a speech at a conference and award ceremony on "Ethics in Healthcare" at a local hotel on Monday, she said  the issue of medical ethics in Pakistan was very important which needed to be handled through collective efforts of all stakeholders including patients, physicians and pharma companies.

She said that there was a need to upgrade the quality of medicines in Pakistan.

"Whenever there is some complaint or an incident of poor quality medicines, it brings a bad name to all companies. Therefore, the companies should point out black sheep in their ranks," she added.

She said that quackery was another big threat which needed to be dealt with an iron hand. According to PMA, over 600,000 quacks are working in the country while 40,000 in Lahore, she added.

She also pointed out a mushroom growth of private medical colleges in the country which was harming medical education. She said a judge of the High Court was probing the matter as 19 private medical colleges were granted permission in one day.

The minister said that after the establishment of Drugs Regulation Authority, steps were being taken to uplift the standard of healthcare in the country.

She said that work on a suggestion was in progress in which a young doctor would be bound for one year service in hardship areas to get registration of PMDC.

She stressed the proper use of the Rs 600 million central research fund to upgrade the standard of medicines and healthcare in the country.

She also stressed a mechanism of accountability for every institution.

Prof Dr Javed Akram and chief executives of pharma industries also spoke about the situation and improvement in medical ethics.

Later, shield and certificates were also distributed.