There are several sectors in the country which we can be proud of and undoubtedly the pharmaceutical sector is one of them. The country’s pharmaceutical industry is one of the major contributors to the national exchequer. Following promulgation of Drug Control Ordinance in 1982, the development of this sector was accelerated. During the past two decades, the pharmaceutical industry has taken a newer height. Now, this sector provides almost cent percent of the total medicine requirement of domestic market. At the same time, we are exporting medicines to the global market, including that of the US and Europe. Local companies have already earned a reputation for exporting quality medicines abroad. This reputation should be properly utilised for our market expansion.
According to a front page story of the Daily Sun’s yesterday issue, pharmaceuticals will become a $5billion industry in five years. A staff correspondent of this newspaper revealed this information quoting relevant sources. However, there is an important issue that needs to be addressed to reach this stage. It is that we are not self-sufficient in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) that are essential for producing medicines. We are mainly dependent on China and India from where we have to import the bulk of APIs at the cost of our hard-earned foreign exchange. This is a major challenge for our fast-expanding pharmaceuticals industry. If APIs are locally produced in sufficient quantities, our pharmaceutical companies will be able to purchase those immediately reducing the time and cost of production of drugs, leading to an advantage in exports. It will also result in decreasing the prices of medicines in local markets.
We urge the authorities concerned to expedite the work of the park to make the pharmaceutical sector self-sufficient.