Raw material woes for Pakistan could lead to swift exit for drugsmakers, says ABC

By Natalie Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

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Raw material woes for Pakistan could lead to swift exit for drugsmakers, says ABC
The American Business Council (ABC) has warned US drugsmakers working in Pakistan to brace themselves for supply chain disruptions as the Government imposes heavy delays on the process used to allocate raw materials to manufacturers.

The authorities claim the problems stem from legal complications with ongoing plans to devolve the ministries responsible for sharing out the ingredients under the 18th​ Constitution Amendment of 2010.  The issues could mean more than 800 drugs currently manufactured in Pakistan could soon be out of stock.

Now in a letter to the authorities, ABC – representing 65 American companies working within the country – says enough is enough, and urges leaders to release quota.

“There is an urgent need to release quota for raw material of these products to avoid serious implications,”​ ABC wrote.

“Unavailability of high-quality, safe and efficacious drugs will pave the way for counterfeiters, black marketers and spurious drug makers to flood the market.”

When in-PharmaTechnologist contacted the Pakistani Government it was unavailable for comment.

“The situation may lead to shutdowns”

The council went on to warn the Government that if it does not take action it could see multinational pharma manufacturers – already faced with Pakistan’s energy supply woes and security threats – could shut up shop and go elsewhere.

“The situation may lead to shutdown of operation, which will have a direct and indirect impact on employment in the pharma industry, cause a significant loss in exports and tax loss for the government and introduction of new life-saving drugs will be compromised,” ​the letter added.

The council said that Pfizer, Abbott and J&J (Johnson and Johsnon) – its three biggest companies operating within the region – are already “seriously affected”​ by the shortages.

“The issue of quota allocation is seriously affecting operations of ABC’s three member companies namely Pfizer Pakistan, Abbot Laboratories and Johnson and Johnson,”​ it said in the letter. 

Drugs affected by the delays include anxiolytics, psychotropic agents, cold and cough preparations, and drugs for anxiety, depression and epilepsy.

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