LAHORE: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has expressed its concerns for not fulfilling the legal obligations of timely implementing the price adjustment mechanism provided under the Drug Pricing Policy of 2018 by the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (Drap) and the federal government.
The OICCI was the representative body of top 200 foreign investors in Pakistan which regularly conducts surveys of its members on matters related to the business environment in Pakistan.
Such survey findings are shared with key stakeholders and regulators like your department to facilitate corrective measures on priority in the interest of Ease Doing Business leading towards promoting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.
While highlighting the issues through a a letter written to Chief Executive Officer of the Drap Asim Rauf, OICCI secretary general Abdul Aleem said that in the latest 2023 OICCI Regulatory Survey, many of OICCI member companies have shown their serious concerns.
He said the Drap and the federal government had failed to ensure timely implementation on the price adjustment mechanism provided under the Drug Pricing Policy 2018.
Mr Aleem said the failure to follow the pricing policy in letter and spirit and the resulting delay (by Drap) in determining the pharmaceutical prices coupled with the delay (by the federal government) in notifying the said prices of drugs has a compounding and cascading effect on commercial viability of foreign owned pharmaceutical companies as well as on the undisturbed availability of the medicines in Pakistan.
In 2021, Drap issued SROs pertaining to the packaging of the products imposing a requirement on manufacturers/importers to ensure that all products are referred to pharmacopeias such as USP, BP, JP, ELUP etc. for specifications of the drugs.
However, such an imposition reduces and disregards innovative products as the manufacturers are not able to distinguish their specifications from another manufacturer.
This issue has been raised with the drug regulatory board as well but it remains undressed, the secretary OICCI said.
“We request to make necessary proactive measures to resolve the above highlighted issues of the pharmaceutical industry to retain pharma related FDI in the country.
“We also invite you to visit the chamber at a mutually convenient date to have an interactive session with our members on all aspects of promoting FDI in the pharma sector”, Abdul Aleem suggests in the letter.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2023