Pakistani pharmaceutical companies have threatened to boycott the country starting on January 5 in order to put pressure on the government to address the sector’s issues and address the rising shortage of medications and other life-saving drugs.
Several drugs, including insulin, are currently unavailable in markets as a result of regulations the federal government implemented to raise the price of raw materials.
91 percent of the raw components used to make these medications are imported into Pakistan, according to Noor Meher, president of the Pakistan Drug Lawyer Forum. He claimed that there are inventories of fresh medications at the ports of Karachi and Lahore, but that the government has not given the go-ahead for their delivery to pharmacies. Meher disclosed that the grave situation has now prompted pharmaceutical workers to demonstrate in public to call attention to the challenges facing the industry.
After suffering financial difficulties, healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced in October 2022 that it was ceasing production of Panadol tablets, Panadol Extra tablets, and Children’s Panadol Liquid Range in Pakistan.
Farhan Haroon had sent the following in a letter to Syed Tauqir Shah, the CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare Pakistan:
“We are incurring heavy financial losses on the production of the entire Panadol range due to an increase in the price of their raw ingredients and in the absence of due approval by the federal government on the recommendation of Drug Pricing Committee of Drug Regulatory Committee of Pakistan. Due to these challenges, manufacturing of Panadol range on negative margins is unsustainable and despite exhaustive efforts of the company to mitigate the issue through dialogue, the situation is now beyond our control, compelling us to declare force majeure.”