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November 08,2015

‘Local pharma firms render little research efforts’

Salman Siddiqui
KARACHI: Pakistan’s share in the global pharmaceutical industry of around $1,200 billion is very nominal because the local firms are rendering very little research and development efforts in the medicinal field, said a government official on Saturday.
“We [local pharmaceutical firms] have created not a single tablet formula,” said Dr Obaid Ali, Federal Inspector at Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, addressing a seminar organised to mark the International Project Management Day.
Karachi Pakistan Chamber (KPC) of Project Management Institute (PMI), USA, in collaboration with Jang Group, organised the event.
Ali said medicines made in Pakistan have low safety, efficiency and quality and “therefore, our medicines are not in demand abroad.”
“Pakistan lags far behind in the pharmaceutical sector compared with the countries, which were once performing below us,” he said.
“South Africa is more advanced than us today...Pakistan is compared with Afghanistan these days.”
Around 3,000 people die every day because of hepatitis in Pakistan despite the disease curative medicine and treatment are available in the country.
Ali further said some pharmaceutical companies in the developed countries were penalised of up to $9.5 billion for developing flawed medicines.
“However, no such penalty exists in Pakistan,” he said. “The cost of life here is so cheaper here than other parts of the world.”
Ali said the world recently experienced a deadly virus of Ebola, which took lives of hundreds of people.
If the US Food and Drug Administration (USDFA), Europe or any other entity had developed medicines for its treatment alone it would have consumed at least two years.
However, they closed ranks to come up with the remedy in four to five months.
Ali questioned why Pakistan is conspicuous in its absence in all these research and development works.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Suleman Ahmer at Timelenders, a management consultant firm, stressed on the project managers to have long-term or “ultimate vision” for the success of their projects instead of having short-term or “intermediate visions”.
“Becoming a CEO of a firm may be an intermediate vision for anyone, but serving mankind may be an ultimate vision for the same person,” Ahmer elaborated
“Life should not be based on a chance but planning,” he said
CEO Farhad Karamally at Funverks Global, local training company, said managers should develop projects with clear vision, understanding, clarity, and agility (VUCA) instead of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
“There are four major barriers to innovation in any kind of a project,” Karamally said.
“These barriers are related to perception, culture, emotion and intellect.”
President and chief executive Sirajuddin Aziz at Habib Metropolitan Bank said faith is an essential element of successful project’s plan.
“Lack of believe in yourself leads you towards failure,” Aziz said. “Small events and successes lead to greater events and successes.”
President Asghar Ali Syed at PMI Karachi said the organisation is dedicated to the promotion and application of project management in Pakistan.
“We foster awareness for project management in career development and application of body of knowledge to project activities,” Syed said. PMI Karachi promotes the professionalism in project management for business growth.

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