By Our Staff Reporter
KARACHI - Experts and industrialists at the 3rd National Symposium on “Bio-analytical and Bioequivalence Studies” deplored that not a single drug testing authority in Pakistan is accredited with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Bridging the gap between academia and industry would be the great contribution to the people of the country,” they said, adding that Pakistani pharmaceutical industries export quality medicines to 50 countries of the world and as such there is a dire need to conduct more research in the field of bioequivalence studies.
Researchers were also of the opined that since the healthcare statistics are missing in the country, the authorities seemed to have failed in controlling spread of fatal diseases such as hepatitis B and C.
They were speaking at the symposium held at the auditorium of the Center for Bioequivalence Studies and Clinical Research (CBSCR), the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi.
Over 200 scientists and researchers from various institutions of the country participated in the two-day national meeting held under the aegis of the CBSCR of Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), Karachi University.
Those who spoke at the inaugural ceremony included Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan’s (DRAP) CEO Dr Muhammad Aslam, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association’s (PPMA) chairman Saeed Allawala, Khalid Mehmood of a private pharmaceutical firm, ICCBS director Prof. Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Dr M. Raza Shah and Dr Naghma Hashmi of ICCBS.
Dr Muhammad Aslam said that the DRAP tried to encourage local pharmaceutical industries to carry out research related to bioequivalence studies so that the quality of the medicines could be improved.
He stressed the need for a strong bridge between the country’s academic world and industries.
Khalid Mehmood said that bioequivalence even in the developing world’s countries had been declared mandatory for the drug testing authorities. In any drug testing laboratory, procedures, validations, systems and verifications do matter, he added.
Saeed Allawala said that the local pharmaceutical companies have started looking for opportunities for international market. He said that the government would be used for raising standard of industry, securing international certifications, which used to promote Pakistani medicines in foreign markets.
Prof. Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary said that the CBSCR-KU offered for the first time in Pakistan a unique facility of 'certified reference laboratory' that would conduct bioequivalence evaluation and development of generic pharmaceutical products in full compliance with the regulatory authorities in Europe, USA and Japan.
“Pakistani pharmaceutical companies can avail this service to register their products in other countries where bioequivalence is mandatory. This can, therefore, have a significant impact on the export potential of the Pakistani companies, he added.
Elaborating, he maintained that the improved quality of products in Pakistan will add largely to reduce cost of treatment, improved health, and more affordable treatment of diseases.”
Earlier, Dr M. Raza Shah presented the welcome address while Dr Naghma Hashmi gave vote of thanks.