For avoiding server crisis of the unavailability of life-saving drugs in the local market, the government has lifted the ban on the import of Indian medicines and raw materials.
The Ministry of Commerce and Textile issued a statutory regulatory order which stated that the ban on the trade with India would remain effective, but it would not be applicable on the therapeutic products regulated by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan—DRAP.
The exemption has been given in the best interest of the general public for maintaining the continuous supply of medicines to the patients, as informed by the Special Assistant to the PM on Health—Dr. Zafar Mirza.
It is important to mention that after the Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir the Pakistani government on August 9 decided to end all kinds of trade with India. The pharmaceutical industry initially appealed for the relaxation in rules and permit for the Indian goods that were imported before the decision. The government relaxed the rules and the goods that had already reached the Pakistani seaports and airports had been cleared.
But, since a large number of medicines and raw material are imported from the neighboring nation, the industry demanded the ban lift, otherwise, it feared that the nation could face server medicinal crisis, especially of the life-saving drugs in a few weeks.
As per an official of DRAP on the request of anonymity, a meeting was held in which all the stakeholders took part and informed that in a few weeks it would become impossible to ensure the availability of medicines as the pharma industry depends on the imports from India.
He said that the meeting was told that Indian medicine was available at affordable rates and prices of medicines would surge if the government did not go for an alternative arrangement.
Furthermore, one other official informed that the government’s decision to ban medicinal import from India would cause a surge in the smuggling of medicines and revenue losses in regard to the import duties to the national exchequer.