Why Pharma Sector Is Going On Strike?

March 19, 2018

A shutter down strike is called by the Pharma sector of Punjab in the coming days and expectedly all medical stores distribution and manufacturing units would not be working. Reason for the strike is amendment in the laws of drug act by Punjab government in 2017. A strike of same magnitude was observed by Pharma industry last year during which a suicide attack happened killing many innocents. As a working professional of this industry I seriously consider this strike non serious attitude from the pharma sector to improve the health sector in Punjab. So as a pharmacist it’s my prime responsibility to highlight the baseless issues for which pharma sector is again calling a strike to avenge patients that are already suffering due to bad quality of medicine produced by these companies and fake medicines available in the market.

What are the Core problems of Pharma sector that can benefit common people?

  • Whole seller markets that are mostly the home of fake medicines and exist in every city like Bohar Bazar in Rawalpindi and Papar mandi in Lahore would have to wrap up their business and medicines can only be available from the authentic distributor of the company.
  • All pharmacies have to hire professional pharmacists 24/7 and without them no medicine can be dispensed. This will make it difficult for any person to open up a medical store and sell complex molecule. It will also reduce the impact of adverse drug reactions and drug drug interactions. Dispensing medicines by non technical people kill many people every year which goes unreported in our country.
  • Narcotics that can’t be given without prescription are easily available on medical stores of streets and many reports had been established that these stores are selling those narcotics to students of educational institutes. So after implementation of these amendments narcotics will no longer be available to the street medical store and only pharmacies having technical can dispense it.
  • Punishment and fine for selling and making fake medicine increased to the level that every manufacturer and seller would fear to sell fake medicines for money.
  • Independent consultant bodies are given contract for inspecting local manufacturing units as well as distributions and pharmacies to counter the system of corruption that is already running in the health department of Punjab.
  • Manufacturers have to use ‘A’ class raw material instead of ‘B’ and ‘C’ class material because of the testing to be done by international Labs.Quality control of the manufacturing units would be more efficient and better medicine quality would be produced.

 

I had been working for 3 years in the pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan and sadly I had never seen manufacturers that are willing to make money without putting patient at risk.

A recent issue that happened to be in the nutritional industry of Pakistan where DRAP implemented a procedure of importing raw material for production and registration of supplements was denounced by the manufacturer because they prefer to buy raw materials from the local markets having zero authenticity and efficacy .

Vitamins that are used for supplements have very sensitive nature to light and heat but the raw material is shipped through cargo stations having zero measures for the sensitivity of these vitamins resulting in complete loss of efficacy. This raw material is then used in manufacturing supplements that are sold at high prices and sometime their effective need is crucial for the patient. I hope that Pharma sector realize the plight of patients in Pakistan and accept the amendments in the rules  to provide better services for patients, Also Punjab government need to stick with their goal and if anything is going in favor of the general public then it shouldn’t be stop.