Pakistan to help boost local pharmaceutical manufacturing

Representatives of Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry recently agreed to share industry best practices and technical knowledge with the Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (SLPMA).

This took place at a meeting held between the SLPMA and visiting representatives of the Pakistani Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA), where the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Delegation Head Kashif Sajjad Sheikh promised to ensure this knowledge transfer.

The meeting was presided over by State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana, accompanied by State Ministry Secretary Rohitha Uduwawala and Dr. Lakshitha Rajakaruna. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the first state visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Sri Lanka. 

The first-ever bilateral meeting between pharmaceutical manufacturers of the two countries focused on mutually beneficial proposals for both nations to leverage on opportunities provided to one another. 

State Minister Jayasumana requested the Pakistani pharmaceutical manufacturers to share their experience in developing Pakistan’s local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. He also invited the PPMA to set up joint ventures with local pharmaceutical companies to manufacture complex molecules in Sri Lanka, to benefit from the Government’s drive to increase local pharmaceutical manufacturing to 50% of the national requirement by 2025, where Sri Lankan pharmaceutical manufacturers will have to manufacture at least 350+ pharmaceuticals locally. 

Sheikh also invited the State Minister and the SLPMA to visit Pakistan to host a road show on the opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturing in Sri Lanka, and enter into MOUs with prospective Pakistani companies, which will be facilitated by the PPMA. 

Elaborating further, the Pakistani Delegation Head stated that it is a good sign that Sri Lankan government policies, as well as the National Medicinal Regulatory Authority, are supporting local manufacturing. He also emphasised the importance of extending the Government’s present buyback policy for new products to be developed in the future, which will be a definite boost for local manufacturers. 

The SLPMA emphasised the importance of the Pakistani pharma story for local policymakers, especially in learning how the Pakistani Government moved towards formulating a long term policy and incentivised the private sector towards local manufacturing. 

Currently producing over 93 drugs and providing 15% of the local requirement of pharmaceuticals, the SLPMA pointed out that synergy between the two chambers will result in crucial technical transfers from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, allowing the local industry to benefit from the PPMA’s years of research and development. The SLPMA hopes to achieve 50% production of local pharmaceutical requirements by 2025, and a meet target of $ 1 billion per year in exports by 2030. 

The SLPMA was represented by Sanjaya Jayaratna (President), Kalana Hewamallika (Vice President), and Executive Committee Members Viraj Manatunga and Murtaza Esufally. The Pakistani delegation also donated a stock of chronic care pharmaceuticals worth approximately Rs. 18 million to Sri Lanka.

TheMirror/03.Mar2021

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