STATS & FACTS
Pakistan’s Pharmaceutical Industry is an essential, high technology and a strategically important industry. It is an industry, which manufactures a wide range of research based life-saving and enhancing medicines and is a major contributor to the health of the people of Pakistan, and to the economic health of the country.
Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry is a developing industry and faces various challenges. There are large number of low volume and low quality manufacturers. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime has improved in the last few years but still major challenges are faced due to widespread availability of counterfeit and spurious drugs. There are inefficiencies and capacity constraints in the government systems of regulations. Pakistan also suffers from lack of proper implementation of policies. Major portion of costs are of raw and packaging materials that are imported and are sensitive to exchange rate fluctuations.
Pharmaceutical Industry has been growing steadily at an average of 7.5% for the last 3 years. At the present rate, the market size for pharmaceuticals will double in the next 10 years in Pakistan. This rate can be increased by government incentives, correct policy direction, robust regulatory environment and Intellectual Property Rights protection.
Pakistan has the lowest public sector healthcare expenditure as a percentage of GDP in the region. The rate has increased in the last few years but government must drastically increase it to have any meaningful impact on improving healthcare in Pakistan. Following is the comparison of expenditures on Healthcare in the region and the world average, according to World Bank.
Mckinsey & Company in a report commissioned by Planning Commission of Pakistan and Asian Developmnt Bank identified the Pharmaceutical Industry as Sunrise industry – an industry which can lead Pakistan to economic prosperity should there be sound legislative reforms.
The report cites 4 main areas for the Government of Pakistan to focus to enable growth of the Pharmaceutical sector:
- Price - Reform pricing to support public health and industry performance
- FDA - Incentives to invest in FDA-quality plants and gain access to largest export markets
- Production - Allow contract manufacturing without limitation
- Quality - Set high and uniform quality bar and enforce it