Islamabad, 24 January 2024 (GNP): COMSTECH organized an International Seminar on Pharmaceutical Manufacturing in OIC Member States: Status and Future on Wednesday.
Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Coordinator General COMSTECH welcomed the participants of the seminar. He pointed out that Pakistan is producing very high quality medicines but unfortunately it exports are very low, that needs to be enhanced. Prof. Choudhary said that Pakistan needs hydrocracking facility, biomass fermentation base, medicinal plant and salt and mineral based pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Prof. Choudhary assured that COMSTECH can bring expertise in pharmaceutical manufacturing from different OIC member states which are doing excellently well in this area, like Iran, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey. He said that the most important factor is to implement the recommendations of this seminar to excel.
Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue, graced the occasion as the chief guest. He said that the pharmaceutical manufacturing is a key indicator of economic development of any country.
He said the most important goal of any nation is to achieve good health, and good health cannot be possible without quality medicine. He informed that pharmaceutical sector is the next up and coming sector to contribute in exports. He suggested to find the ways to reduce the imports in this sector which is too high at the moment.
Dr. Waqar hoped that this seminar will lead to real manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. He suggested to prepare a database of OIC countries and strive for intra-OIC trade in this sector.
He indicated that Islamic Development Bank can provide cheap trading financing to help boost intra-OIC trade.
Prof. Dr. Mohammad Wasay, from the section of neurology, the Agha Khan University said that pharmaceutical manufacturing is very good in Pakistan and we are also exporting pharmaceutical produce, but are importing raw material extensively.
He said we need to draw a framework to manufacture pharmaceuticals at wide level to export. Prof. Wasay said that this is a seminar that brought all stakeholders under one roof to discuss, how to produce, export, and be innovative in this industry.
Mr. Asim Rauf, CEO, Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan, said that this Pakistan is struggling in terms of pharmaceutical manufacturing and export.
Eight manufacturing units of Pakistan have international recognition. He informed that USD 1 billion export of pharmaceuticals is this year’s target. Mr. Rauf said that despite the challenges we are doing in our capacity to achieve this goal.
He also informed that DRAP has been made fully automated, and by one click all imports and exports are tracked. He suggested that we can have joint ventures with OIC states, like conducting clinical trials, signing MoUs and devising joint programs under COMSTECH.
The seminar was also addressed by industry experts and practitioners. More than 60 people participated in the seminar in-person, and online from various OIC member states