Monday February 06, 2023

DRAP proposes import of raw material for medicines, equipment in Chinese currency

January 26, 2023

KARACHI: The Drug Availability Committee of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has proposed the import of medicines’ raw materials and medical equipment from China in its currency RMB (Renminbi) to ensure the availability of essential medicines at a time when Pakistan is facing a severe dollar liquidity crunch.

“As the LCs issue is hampering the import of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) from China and India, the Drug Availability Committee of DRAP has come up with a solution to import the medicines’ raw material from China in its local currency RMB (Renminbi) to ensure availability of essential medicines in the country”, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DRAP Asim Rauf told leaders of the local pharmaceutical industry at a meeting in Karachi today.

Pakistani pharmaceutical companies are facing immense hardships in importing medicines’ raw materials and finished biological products, the latest cancer therapies, hormones and other therapeutic products due to the dollar liquidity crunch as local banks are not opening Letters of Credit (LCs) for the imports from China, India and some other countries.

DRAP Chief maintained that on the directives from Prime Minister’s office, they were working on the issue of LCs for the local pharmaceutical industry and proposed to the State Bank of Pakistan and the finance ministry to look into the possibility of import of pharmaceutical ingredients in the Chinese currency, adding that around 55 per cent of the medicines’ raw material already comes from China. “The pharmaceutical products’ imports from China can further be increased and taken up to 70 to 80 per cent.

As we are facing a shortage of dollars, we can do the trade in the Chinese currency to ensure availability of the essential medicines, medical devices and other therapeutic goods”, Asim Rauf added.