The Ministry of National Regulation and Services has decided to regulate the homoeopathic and herbal medicines that would add about 40 percent to the overall export of the medicines. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Federal Minister for the Ministry of National Regulation and Services said while talking to media persons here on Monday that the homeopathic and herbal medicines were never ever regulated in the history of Pakistan and that was why there was no monitoring mechanism to make the medicines exportable.
After the formation of Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA), in the meeting of pricing board, it has been decided to have a solid regulation system for homoeopathic and herbal medicines. The Minister said the government wanted to ensure the availability of standardised medicines to the masses at affordable prices. “It is true that the DRA is facing financial constraints, but with the proper registration, licensing and fine collection process of the medicines will start; the financial issues will be resolved naturally.”
We have established 13 units in DRA including; IT and law section. In DRA, some members would be hired that would be eligible to cope with the litigation pertaining to drug cases. Also the import of medical devices including the blood bags will be monitored by the DRA, the Federal Minister revealed.
“The clinical trials of the medicines will also be conducted in Pakistan from now onwards. A pharmacy section will also be established that would have a complete check and balance system for spurious or sub-standard medicines,” the Minister said. While replying to a question of this scribe, the Minister said, “The total number of pending registration and licensing cases of drugs is around 14,000 and we have decided to hold the meeting of the pricing board every 15 days to decide these cases.”
The Minister claimed that most of the multinational as well as local medicine companies go to the Courts to take stay order against the decisions of the government. “The government is negotiating with these medicine companies. While replying to a question asked by this scribe about interferon, the Minister said, “We neither want any multinational medicine company to leave the country nor we want it to undermine the interest of our country. We want to develop consensus between the government and the medicine companies to resolve the issues.” The Minister said the policy board would decide and formulate the rules to appoint a CEO of DRA at permanent basis and after the formulation of the rules, the post of CEO will be advertised in newspapers.