LAHORE - The Punjab government has the plan to do away with the decades-old system of drug inspectors and replace it with private agencies to check and certify process of production and sale of medicines in a more credible and scientific manner.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah stated this while presiding over one of the sessions of 3rd Pakistan Pharma Summit, which concluded here on Tuesday. The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA) organised the two-day moot. The minister said that systems of drug and food inspectors had become too much obsolete as it had to be replaced with credible accreditation agencies like the concept of private audit firms. One such example was of the system of food inspectors as Punjab Food Authority (PFA) is now working in their place in a more effective manner to check working of eateries and food industries in the entire province, said Sanaullah.

He said that the provincial government didn’t want to replace forthwith the system of drug inspectors as concerns of the medicines’ manufacturers and pharmacies’ owners would be duly taken into account in this regard. He said that doing away with the age-old system of drug inspectors was one of the two points on which the special committee of the Punjab cabinet had to reach consensus with representatives of pharmaceutical industry in the province on the issue of recently passed Punjab Drugs (Amendment) Act-2017.

The other issue on which the provincial cabinet committee and pharma industry representatives were yet to reach consensus pertained to the mechanism to be adopted for recalling from the market a batch of medicinal product found defective after due testing. He said that complete consensus had been reached on rest of five points pertaining to provincial Drugs (Amendment) Act after negotiations lasting over three months between the government representatives and pharma industry.

The minister said the government had entered into the process of negotiations on the Drugs Act with the aim that the Pharmaceutical industry should continue with its business and operations. While at the same it was resolve of the government to ensure provision of quality and up-to-date medicines to ailing citizens at most affordable prices. PM’s Special Assistant Dr Musadik Malik also spoke on the occasion and shed light on challenges and potential of pharmaceutical industries.