Drug Firms Face Shutdown Amid Economic Crisis
Pakistan’s pharmaceutical sector has issued a warning that dozens of homegrown businesses may have to shut down as a result of prohibitive manufacturing costs brought on by the devaluation of the rupee, difficulties with imports, and rising inflation.
Pakistan’s pharmaceutical crisis is intensifying as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delays disbursing $1.1 billion (€1.03 billion) in necessary bailout funding.
A major factor in the country of South Asia’s recent 21.5% decline in medicine manufacturing is the persistent unwillingness of commercial banks to help with the purchase of raw materials.
In order to provide a legal guarantee to pay for imports, banks started issuing letters of credit (LCs) once more in January of this year, according to Syed Farooq Bukhari, chairman of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, who spoke with DW. However, because they had insufficient foreign exchange reserves, the banks only granted about 50% of requests for the documents, which are given to importers of products as a guarantee of payment within a predetermined time frame.
Read More: UBL Winds Up its Subsidiary in Switzerland
Granting 50% of LC petitions, according to Bukhari, causes “medicine shortages as well as hoarding by wholesalers and merchants.”
Authorities claim that the LC issue would persist until the IMF releases the $1.1 billion bailout tranche and blame it on the nation’s frighteningly low foreign exchange reserves.
IMF negotiators met with Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad last month, but they left without reaching an agreement to release the funds.
The vast devaluation of the Pakistani rupee over the previous year has increased the prices of imported raw materials, which are used in the majority of pharmaceutical products and medicines produced in Pakistan.
Under the advice of Pakistan’s Drug Regulatory Authority, the federal government sets the retail prices for medicines (DRAP).
The industry is requesting a 38.5% increase in drug prices across the board, but Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s administration is refusing to do so out of concern for public opinion given that inflation has already risen to roughly 31.5%.
Recently, DRAP did allow a small price increase for 19 medications, including painkillers and fever reducers; nonetheless, the industry criticised the increase as being insufficient.
According to Bukhari, when fuel prices and electricity costs rose and the value of the US dollar surged from 230 to about 270 Pakistani rupees in a matter of weeks, the production of several pharmaceutical items had become impractical.
40 local enterprises have formally informed us that they are closing down owing to the prohibitive cost of production, he added, adding that four pharmaceutical MNCs (multinational companies) have already departed the country and another has filed for force majeure.
He believed that legal action had prevented the sector from receiving relief over drug pricing.
scarcity of medicines
Many ships and containers carrying medical equipment imported from China, Europe, and the US are stalled at seaports due to payment delays brought on by a lack of dollars on the market, according to pharmaceutical businesses.
The prime minister of Pakistan established a committee to study the problems facing the pharmaceutical business two months ago, but he has not yet met with pharmaceutical companies. As the crisis worsens, thousands of jobs as well as patient care are in danger.
There are reported shortages of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies all over Pakistan.
The Pakistan Drug Lawyers’ Forum Chairman, Muhammad Noor Mehar, noted that about 10% of imported life-saving medications were in limited supply.
Additionally, he asserted that there are no diabetic, heart, kidney, or asthma medications on the market and that some imported drugs and raw materials are awaiting clearance at ports.
There are medication shortages for Ketaconzole (fungal infection), Risek injection (gastroesophageal issues), Vita 6 (tuberculosis), Treviament (diabetes), Neuromet (anaemia and nerve damage), and Herparin injection, according to physicians at the Federal Government Polyclinic, the second-largest public hospital in Islamabad (blood thinning).
An epileptic patient who wished to remain anonymous told DW that her family had been sent from pillar to post due to the severe lack of Tegral tablets, which are used to treat nerve pain.
Despite the fact that my doctors have switched me to alternative medicine, she stated it was really upsetting to watch patient care being so carelessly neglected by those in charge. It’s unfortunate that, even if you have the money, you might not be able to afford the necessary medications and care.
Read More: DiamondTok Has Been Launched in Pakistan
The only cancer hospital in the province of southwest Balochistan is located in Quetta, at the Centre for Nuclear Medicine and Radiation.
Jamila Shuja, an oncologist and the organization’s chief medical officer, told DW that because the majority of cancer patients are extremely poor, their medical prognosis and course of treatment have been negatively impacted by the recent price increase of nearly all chemotherapy medications.
Doxorubicin and Kopaque injections, which are given to cancer patients, aren’t supplied at pharmacies but are instead sold on the black market at prices that are ten times higher than those that have been made public, the woman claimed.
Arinac (for colds and sinusitis) and thyroid medications, according to Muhammad Waheed, a salesman at Najeeb Pharmacy in Islamabad, have been out of stock for a considerable amount of time.
According to reports, imports of oxygenators, coronary stents, transplant kits, and syringes are either unavailable or in low supply, causing government hospitals to postpone crucial surgeries.
For more information, please get in touch with Al Sadat Marketing.
You can also invest in other famous and most in demand housing societies, such as , Blue World City, Rudn Enclave, 7 Wonders City Peshawar, Taj Residencia, Kingdom Valley, New Metro City Gujar Khan, Forest Town Rawalpindi, University Town Rawalpindi, ICHS Town, Park View City Islamabad, Multi Gardens B17 Islamabad and Nova City Islamabad.
Few more real estate housing schemes which are trending now a days in Islamabad by including: Faisal Town Phase 2, Prism Town Gujar Khan, New City Paradise, Eighteen Islamabad, 7 Wonders City Islamabad, Capital Smart City, Silver City Islamabad, The Life Residencia, Faisal Town Islamabad, Islamabad Golf City, Islamabad Model Town and Marble Arch Enclave.
Al Sadat Marketing is an emerging Real Estate Agency headquartered in Islamabad, Pakistan. With over 10+ Years of experience, Al Sadat Marketing is providing its services and dealing all trending housing societies projects in different cities of Pakistan. Islamabad Projects, Rawalpindi Projects, Gujar Khan Projects, Burhan Projects, and Peshawar Projects etc.
Book Your Plot Now: +92 331 111 0005