LAHORE, Dec 20: The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has announced a complete ‘strike’ in Punjab with closure of factories to protest ‘indifferent attitude’ of the government towards drug manufacturers.

PPMA Vice-Chairman Nasir Qureshi told the media at Lahore Press Club on Thursday that the decision was taken in the wake of the Tyno syrup incident.

The announcement came at a time when the Punjab government was already facing criticism of poor mechanism of medicines’ delivery system and shortage at most of the state-run health facilities of the province.

“Many pharmaceutical manufacturers have already closed down their business and others are considering same measures which would render about 4.5 million people jobless.

“The mishandling of Tyno syrup case by the Punjab government has forced us to close down our units all over Punjab and stop production of medicines,” Mr Nasir said.

He said the PPMA had deeply regretted the loss of lives in the incident but it would be unfair and unjust to blame the pharmaceutical company alone.

He said the forensic report issued by the central drug laboratory did not blame Tyno syrup for deaths. Those died after consuming medicine were drug addicts and it had also been established that there was no problem with the syrup.

“Instead of making public the forensic reports of the labs in the Tyno case, the Punjab government is holding the manufacturer responsible for deaths.

“Good repute and goodwill is the important and valuable asset of any medicine company and any discriminatory act against it will defame the entire industry in Pakistan and abroad. Particularly, medicines’ export may come to a halt,” Nasir Qureshi said.

The PPMA vice-chairman also urged the Punjab government to dig out facts as to why incidents of drugs’ reaction were taking place in Lahore only. He said a large quantity of medicines was being smuggled into the country from India but the respective authorities were not paying any heed to it.

He stressed the need to streamline a mechanism and activate drug regulatory inspectors to check local markets flooded with non-registered medicines. He also demanded action by the government against spurious drugs’ manufacturers and production and sale of non-registered medicines.

Export Committee Chairman and PPMA former chief, Dr Riaz Ahmed, said the Punjab government should strictly monitor chemists. He stressed the need to check licences of chemists and strictly implement rules regarding sale of medicines in accordance with doctors’ prescriptions.

PPMA North Zone Chairman Saleem Iqbal, Amjad Java and Managing Director Rekho Pharma Khalid Salim were also present on the occasion. — Staff Reporter

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