The Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (Drap) has asked all pharmaceutical companies to submit their expenditure data regarding promotional activities, including sampling, for the last two years (from 2017 to 2019).
As per Rule 33 (related to registration, licencing and advertisement) of the Drugs Act 1976, no pharmaceutical company should spend more than five per cent of its turnover on advertisement, sampling to doctors and other promotional activities.
Drap has issued a notification in this regard, seeking record of pharma companies for the last two years, so that an audit of the record could be done to check any irregularity.
In the country’s around $.12 billion per annum allophathic medicines market the multinational companies’ share is 38 percent.
Meanwhile, a leader of the Pakistan Pharmacists Association and Drugs Lawyers Forum, Dr Noor Advocate, termed the government move a step in the right direction, which, he said, would discourage pharmaceutical companies, mostly multinationals, to oblige senior doctors and professors for prescribing specific brands.
Citing the example of a simple painkiller (Diclofenae sodium), he said a tablet of the drug manufactured by a local company was available for only 98 paisa in the market, but the same medicine by a multinational pharmaceutical company was being sold for Rs19.5 per tablet.
Here said Drap move would definitely help bringing down the medicines prices in the country.