Innovation is key to healthcare

Staff Reporter

Lahore—With the right regulatory framework and a secure environment, Pakistan is ideally positioned to not just see a huge inflow of investment in the country but could be a strong exporter of finished pharmaceutical products, Chairman Pharma Bureau, Kazim Hasnain said.
In 2010, he added, McKinsey & Company in the Pakistan Business Development Plan commissioned by the Government of Pakistan, estimated a $4 billion pharma market (including $1 billion in exports) in 5 years, provided Pakistan deregulated its pricing and let competitive forces drive prices down.
‘Currently our market is at $2.9 billion with our exports of around $200 million. We are way behind. This means that there are untapped opportunities. It is essential that we work together, guided by a strong belief that the innovative pharmaceutical industry is a vital sector for the health of the nation and that its survival is mandated by policies and collaborations that enable it to make innovative treatments widely available to those who need them,’ suggested Kazim.
‘In line with our commitment to collaborate with the government, and the healthcare authorities, we have shared several surveys and research that highlight the importance of not only having good policies but also ensuring their respective implementation, said Chairman PB.
‘We strongly believe that providing the right medication to the right patient at the right time, especially for those suffering from chronic diseases can only succeed through collaborative work with governments, healthcare bodies, regulators, payers, health funds, the medical community, advocacy groups and innovation companies,’ reasoned Kazim.
Today, he added, healthcare is a priority in Pakistan and working for better patient access to healthcare is a continuous effort that needs the collaboration of all stakeholders to find medium to long terms solutions to the major problems faced by this sector.
‘If counterfeit and spurious medicines are two major issues, they are the result of several root causes that encourage people to search for inadequate solutions through the inappropriate channels; among those causes, product shortages, pricing issues that prevent some medicines from being manufactured or imported, and other related policies and regulations that should support a stronger manufacturing and quality supply chain in the country,’ said Kazim.
While we believe that price controls can be effective for a specific list of essential drugs, it is not viable to be applied to all the 16000 molecules registered in Pakistan,’ said Kazim.

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