Pak-India trade freeze to affect drugs availability
Agitated PPMA approaches DRAP for clearance of old consignments
Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry received a big shock after the government placed a ban on trade with India. The industry relies on raw material imported from India for the manufacturing of several essential medicines. Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has raised this issue with Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), demanding clearance of Indian origin consignments of the raw materials in cases where contracts/LCs/bills of lading were filed before the issuance of notification banning imports of Indian origin products.
The PPMA members were shocked to know that various consignments which had already arrived at Karachi Port from India had been diverted/not allowed to be offloaded at Karachi Port by the Customs authorities.
The PPMA said that due to that denial, the ships/consignments had been diverted to the next destination and it was expected that same would be returned to India and would need to be re-shipped to complete the LC process.
The PPMA has urged the authority to take immediate action to review the situation and let the association know how to mitigate the matter, saying that diverting the consignments is a clear contravention of the government of Pakistan's notification. The association has urged the government to allow the offloading of present consignments, saying if on the way logistics are denied the whole supply chain will be disrupted.
The association has further warned the authority about the serious implications of this situation not only for the pharmaceutical industry but also for the patients.
The official said that as a result of shortage of raw material, local pharmaceutical industry would be forced to close down, drug dealers would store medicines and the government would be forced to import drugs which would take the prices up.
The pharmaceutical industry had already started working out alternate plans of importing raw material to meet the local demand, the letter further added.