SECP drafts voluntary code for pharmaceutical industry

ISLAMABAD (staff reporter):The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman has sent a draft code of marketing practices for the pharmaceutical industry to the Minister of Health Services, stating that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), the Frontline regulator of the pharmaceutical sector, may be advised to put in place a mechanism for ensuring effective regulation of marketing practices in the pharmaceutical industry. It mainly relates to restriction on gifts to healthcare professionals.

The recommended code for interacting with healthcare professionals further seeks to clamp down on foreign trips by restricting industry sponsored international conferences and encouraging conferences and trainings of health professionals within the country. The code also seeks to prevent such meetings from coinciding with sports, entertainment or other leisure events or activities.

The chairman further added that the SECP considers it critical for the effective oversight of the marketing practices of the pharmaceutical sector and its international image that code for interacting with healthcare professional is put in place.

The review of marketing expenses of pharmaceutical companies revealed instances of weak internal control systems and the fact that a lack of regulatory controls over marketing practices was to some extent responsible for such control issues. Research on the international practices on the subject revealed that globally codes for interactions with healthcare professionals have been developed in countries such as India, Ireland, the Philippines and the US.

The SECP hopes that the said voluntary code will be a first step in the direction of ensuring ethical interaction with healthcare professionals. The DRAP shall take this further and shall come up with a compulsory code for healthcare professionals. The SECP is of the opinion that such steps will ensure transparency and accountability in the interaction between healthcare professionals and the pharmaceutical industry

Pakistan appreciates French help in energy sector: Nargis

islamabad (staff reporter): The inaugural session of the Pakistan-France Administrative, Economic and Trade Committee was held here on Tuesday in Economic Affairs Division (EAD). The Pakistan side was headed by Secretary, EAD, Ms. Nargis Sethi while the French delegation was led by Madame Marie-Cecile Tardieu-Smith, Head of Bilateral Economic Relationships at the French Treasury. The delegation also included the French Ambassador in Pakistan Philippe Thiebaud, and Denis Cassat, Country Director of French Development Agency (AFD) in Pakistan.

It was decided to use framework of this committee to enhance excellent economic, trade and development partnership between the two countries. 

Secretary EAD welcomed the delegation and appreciated the excellent relationship between the two countries. She informed the delegation about the present government’s agenda for economic and social development which she said would bring prosperity for the people of Pakistan.

She also appreciated continued French assistance to Pakistan especially for projects in the energy sector.

France continues to support the renewable energy sector in Pakistan with official assistance to projects like Jabban & Jaggran Hydropower Projects.

It may be mentioned here that a number of French companies are also investing in the power sector in Pakistan. The meeting reviewed the macroeconomic situation of both countries and expressed confidence that expected growth in both economies will lead to improved trade and investment relations

Maersk focusing on emerging exporting sectors of Pakistan

Karachi (staff reporter):Pakistan possesses an important strategic location on the globe where it could expand its business by exports everywhere in different countries of the world through strong communication and logistic channels and shipping lines. This was stated by Thue Barfod, Vice President Asia Pacific Region Maersk Line, during a meeting with Director Durrani Associates. He was accompanied by Maersk Regional Head Ali Awan on the plant’s visit of Durrani-Pak Horti Fresh in Karachi.

Maersk Line has made Pakistan as a regional hub to provide services to traders of different fields with advanced technology of storage for preserving commodities and goods particularly fresh fruits and vegetables.

He said Maersk is focusing on emerging exporting sectors of Pakistan including fruits to provide best available and fastest shipping services to traders. In this regard, containers and storage tanks have been designed at high standards for temperature requirement.

Barfod added the potential of mango exports is vibrant in the country hence Maersk will facilitate Durrani Associates as a priority business partner in order to enhance its business across the globe through its shipment services.

He assured that Maersk will meet demands of fruits exports mainly Durrani Associates for reducing shipment days on the routes of exporting countries in the future.

Babar Durrani, Director Durrani Associates, said that Pakistan’s fruits exports could be enhanced to different countries of the world through advanced shipping lines like Maersk Line having advanced storage facilities.

Durrani Associates with its hot water technology has exported mangoes to seven different countries in past two years via sea but there are different countries in the world which could be approached through fastest shipping lines.

ALP okays project to improve scientists’ skills

islamabad (staff reporter): As the world becomes more and more competitive, knowing how to write convincing research proposals is becoming as important for people in agricultural research as knowing how to write papers for refereed journals. The Board of Directors of ALP has been pressing hard since long for such capacity building for provinces. The Third Party Independent Evaluation of PARC has also felt this need as the ratios of distribution of funds between PARC and provincial research centers has been much skewed. 

The evaluation team recommended to conduct such capacity building of the provincial scientists as the quality of the proposals submitted had not been up to the mark to conduct such capacity building of the provincial scientists as the quality of the proposals submitted had not been up to the mark to convince the proposal review forums. This was stated by Dr. Kamal Sheikh, PD (ALP).

He said that the up-coming five years business plan of PARC (2013-18), on the basis of these recommendations of the ITPE, has indicated such needs in the reforms action plan for the scientists. The Agricultural Linkages Programme and Social Sciences Division have planned a project under ALP to do this task and approved a project to fund a series of seven workshops to improve the skills of scientists in proposal writing. Of the seven workshops one each will be organised in every province, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan.

The first of these seven sessions is being organised from today at NARC. Purpose of this workshop is to train the trainers from all the provinces, AJK, and Gilgit  Baltistan. These trainers will go along with our experts and help us organise the provincial sessions in the respective province and train other scientists. International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington DC) Islamabad is collaborating with PARC experts in this effort to design the course contents, materials and provide resource persons.

Its support is acknowledged with thanks. We hope this cooperation will go further to design training programme on monitoring and evaluation in coming months. Dr Stephen Davies, Programme Leader of PSSP of IFPRI has contributed a lot in designing and delivering the workshop. His contributions are worth appreciating and these will be further available for conduction such events in the provinces. We will request him for IFPRI and his personal help in designing and implementing training in M&E which also a week area of our scientists.

Dr Kamal Sheikh congratulated the PARC Capacity Building project team and experts who have put their best efforts in planning and organising this workshop which was long awaited. I welcome to the participants of the first of these seven workshops and thank to their organisations for sparing them for a weeks’ time to come here and spend their time in learning these techniques.

We hope that the participants well learn the techniques and skill given to them with their best of abilities and use them for their own proposals writing and help us training more scientists. We wish to provide you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to go back to your organizations and, with your colleagues, begin a sustained and successful search for outside funding for your research efforts.

National moot on economic roadmap next month

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government is planning to hold a National Conference next month (October) to shortlist about 10 to 12 economic-driving sectors to help revive the economy. “The government would focus on these 10-12 identified promising sectors of economy to ensure growth,” Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said during a meeting with representatives of Pakistan Business Council here Tuesday. The minister said that top professionals of economic management would be invited in the conference to identify the promising sectors for the future development.

He said besides other stakeholders, the government will also take onboard all the political parties to formulate a comprehensive plan for the sustainable development of the country.

Ahsan Iqbal also suggested to launch Best Entrepreneur Scheme with the help of business sector to award best 100 entrepreneurs of the year, which he said would promote entrepreneurship culture in the country.

Peshawar blast badly affected local bourse

Karachi (staff reporter):KSE former Director Zafar Motti has said investors expect that selling would be increased in current week but recent incident of Peshawar blast badly affect the investor sentiments. On the other side, Capital Advocacy also brought down the local market.  Falling rupee against dollar and prevailing law and order situation in the city, absence of retail clients and 46 percent increased in tax also disturbed the local bourse he added. Stock dealer at KSE Yaqoob Habib said due to foreign selling bank borrowing of the govt brought equity down.

 while the expected increase in power, oil and gas prices hurt the investor interest.