DRAP CEO rules out impact of 17% GST on prices of medicines



LAHORE: The Chief Executive Officer of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), Asim Rauf on Thursday ruled out of increase in prices of medicines after the imposition of 17 percent GST.

He said the federal government, DRAP and the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) were committed to provide quality medicines to the people of Pakistan and help promote pharmaceutical exports.

Mr Rauf was talking to reporters after visiting stalls at the concluding evening of two-day 13th Pak Pharma & Healthcare Expo at Lahore Expo Centre. Mr. Mansoor Dilawar, Chairman PPMA, Hamid Raza, former Chairman, Kamran Abbasi, Director Prime Event Management were also present.

He said the authority was working day and night for ease of doing business and to help Pakistan achieve international status for its manufactured medicines under the listed status of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Today’s activity at the exhibition is encouraging us in a right direction. I have been told that a company is exporting medicines to Bangladesh and halal gel capsules are being manufactured in Pakistan.”

The stalls dealing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) were reflecting the commitment of the Government of Pakistan that approved the policy, the DRAP CEO said.

To a question that what would be the benefit of contractual manufacturing– recently allowed by the authority– in the pharma industry, the DRAP CEO said the authority was implementing all international recommendations and guidelines that would allow people to get their medicines manufactured from any company that would have space for production.
“This will not only help the pharma manufacturing industry to utilize its full capacity but would also help generate employment. Oversees Pakistanis, who have pharmaceutical bases in Pakistan, will be also get their medicines produced by local companies.”

To another question about imposition of 17 percent general sales tax on medicines, he said the tax had not pushed the prices of medicines. “The industry is altogether regulated, no one can change MPR by adding 17 percent tax in any medicine for sale.”

Meanwhile, the two-day conference cum panel discussion on “Pharma Export and its challenges” also concluded at the Convention Centre.

Mr. Kamran Abbasi, the organiser told that the second day of the event had technical sessions under theme “Leadership, regulatory and bioceuticals” under the aegis of the University of Lahore and the University of Punjab. UOL’s Faculty of Pharmacy and University of the Punjab’s College of Pharmacy were knowledge partners to support the conference.

He further told that over 70 exhibitors including companies from China, Germany and Turkey participated in the two-day mega event. A large number of business customers including doctors, pharmacists, representatives of pharma industry, and traders visited the expo and showed their interest in B2B.