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Pakistan Pharma Industry

Farooq Mubarak & Abdullah Tehseen
Attention Of Government
Current Scenario
Economic Drivers ; Growth Rate
Categories Of Medicines Produced
Steps To Ensure Quality
History Of Pharma Industry
In Pakistan.
During independence, Pakistan had
virtually no Pharma Industry.

The traders were engaged in importing

medicines from different countries.
Reasons Contributing To
Non-Existent Industry.

deficiencies of technical know


shortage of raw materials.

lack of quality control.

Attention Of Government
 After recognizing the significance of the industry,
Government established two units under PIDB,

1. Khurram Chemicals Limited (near Islamabad)

2. Antibiotics Private Limited (in Mianwali).

Positive Growth Era
The pharmaceutical industry in the
country experienced a growth
stage from 1948 which continued
till 1971.

1948 --1971
 The year 1972 saw the introduction of Drug Generic Act which
implied discriminatory and restrictive registration policy
hampering the growth of national manufacturers who suffered a
lot and gradually lost their export market.

 The competitive edge of the pharmaceutical industry was

shattered during this period making it hard to survive for
players in the market.
Current Scenario
 There are currently over 400 pharmaceutical manufacturing
units registered in Pakistan.

Out Of 316 Units;

90%-------------local pharmaceutical units.
10%-------------multinational owned.

Local Units-----------------------386
Multinational Units------------30
Province-Wise Divison
Local Units:
Punjab------------------------- 265 units
Sindh--------------------------- 76 units
N.W.F.P------------------------ 37 units
Balochistan……………… 5 units
Azad Kashmir……………. 2 units.

Multinational Units:
Sindh----------------------------- 23 units
Punjab--------------------------- 5 units
Balochistan--------------------- 2 units
Economic Drivers
External Economic Drivers

 A very large population - 152 million people.

 The Government's emphasis on providing health facilities for everyone

 An increase in per capita income which has provided greater disposable income for
health related expenditures.

 General health awareness and consciousness among the population.

 Approximately 56,000 doctors - both general physicians and specialists - whose

prescriptions are the main sales drivers for the industry.

 A cut in Government duties on pharmaceutical raw materials and packing materials.

 Export opportunities due to WTO implementation.

 Manufacturing and marketing of cheaper new generic drugs by National Companies.

Internal Economic Drivers

 Availability of Chinese machinery which is

much cheaper as compared to other countries

 New generation of educated entrepeneurs in

local companies

 Production processes' rationalisation and


 An increase in sales and marketing spend


Nearly 90% of the basic raw material used

for manufacturing is imported from
countries like China, India, Japan, UK,
Germany and many others. Though
Pakistan has potential for making herbal
medicines locally.
 According to a recently published report by, EFPIA (European
Union Federation Of Pharmaceutical Industries And
Association), Pakistan ranks 2nd in the production of sub-
standard and second class medicines. (Sunday Magazine, 8 April 2007)

 It is also said in the report that nearly 1,7500 people die each
year in Pakistan due to these substandard medicines.

 According to a feature published in Sunday magazine on 8th

April, 07, there are 28,000 medical stores in Punjab, and for
their checking there are only 50 drug inspectors.

 Similarly there is only one drug testing laboratory in Punjab,

which can test up to the most of 1500 samples per month.
Problems (continued)
Pakistan’s drug act is 30 years old, and
after 1976, no change has been made to
it according to the situation.
The system of obtaining licenses for the
medicines production is very loose, and
any one who has huge amount of money
can dive into this business.
Growth Rate
(as of MAT Q3-2005)

• Pakistan's pharmaceutical industry

is worth approximately US$1.18

• Annual growth rate is estimated at

Pricing -A cause of worry

 Prices of many pharmaceutical products are much higher in Pakistan as

compared to India. The core reason behind this is that most of the basic
pharmaceutical raw materials are imported.

 According to statistics by Ministry of Health 41.2% of the Pakistani

population cannot afford procuring medicines due to high prices in the

 The other key reason for high prices is the partial deregulation policy
undertaken by the government in the year 1993 which raised the prices
of drugs by nearly 400% in just few months.

 Similarly, the government decision to let the Ministry of Industries to

decide about the drug pricing is creating confusion and resentment.
Health Policy 2010
Ministry Of Health And Government
 The Ministry of Health along with Government of Pakistan
is working on health policy 2010 for planned
enhancements in overall health sector by the way of
promoting and upgrading healthcare facilities at all tiers.

 Main Features Of The policy are;

1. to improve effective access to healthcare

2. Reduction in communicable diseases
3. Good governance at both directorate and agency level
Categories Of Medicines Produced
 There are close to 125 categories of medicines produced locally
including all kind of vitamins, antiallergics, alkaloids, ointments, cough
syrups, etc. Many of the manufacturing units are ISO certified adhering
to UK and US Pharmacopoeia.

 Some of the irrational drugs that have been banned in the West are still
sold in Pakistan. Local doctors are misled by the pharmaceutical
companies to prescribe unethical formulations and the government
remains silent and allows this to go on so as not to offend the WTO and
the icon of "free trade".
Actions Taken By Governement To
Ensure Quality
 The federal health secretary Ejaz Rahim has recently announced in a
press conference at Karachi that Pakistan Health Ministry is
considering making a committee comprising of the World Health
Organisation (WHO), Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
Association and Health Ministry to keep check on the quality of drugs
available in the market.

 Government of Pakistan had invested Rs 8 billion in the pharmaceutical

industry since 1999 to guarantee good quality drugs at competitive
prices. 2,500 new drugs have been registered and 32 new drug-
manufacturing units have started production since 1999.
 Seeing the past and current scenerio, we feel that there is much potential in the
Pharma industry of Pakistan. The implementations of WTO has created export
oppurtunites of our products in the international market with quality standards.
Moreover the increased governments attention towards this sector shows bright
hopes for the future of this industry.

 The increase in budget according to “IMS Asia” [] report is

showing the positive scope for the pharma sector. This will inturn promote the
employment generation. The import of machinary from China is expected to
increase our produciton and production efficiency.

 This industry needs more attention of the government regarding health standards
and quality standards of the product. Almost every medicine’s catalouge should
mention the “adverse affects” clearly. The workers employed at packing, unpacking
of the medicines and those who are physically related with the production of certain
medicines should be treated with certain health measures.

 Overall, the industry has much potential to capture domestic as well as

international market share provided that its in accordance with the quality
standards as prescribed by WTO.