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USAID helps digitize 4.1m DRAP records

By Our Correspondent
March 25, 2021

Islamabad: Pakistan appreciates USAID’s technology assistance in digitization of 15 years’ historical 4.1 million records of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) I am happy to know that DRAP’s needs have been articulated into a Document Management System (DMS) in line with international standard.

The PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan expressed these views while addressing a ceremony arranged in connection with handing over of DMS to DRAP by the USAID-funded Global Health Supply Chain-Procurement and Supply Management project here on Wednesday.

Dr Faisal said, this would drastically improve the record keeping necessary for a transparent regulatory environment. “The DMS will ensure ease of business with local and international pharma industry; similar digitization efforts should be made with the Pakistan Medical Council and other departments as well,” he suggested.

The CEO of DRAP Asim Rauf apprised that the digitization has made it easier to store, access and transmit the paper-based record and has improved data sharing within different sections of DRAP.

“This digitized system modernizes, streamlines, and harmonizes data archives, which directly supports data accessibility and visibility,” said USAID Deputy Mission Director Michael Nehrbass. “It will also ensure transparency of information and records management, which ultimately will help ensure access to quality-assured medicines and commodities in Pakistan.”

Eminent public health specialist and former SAPM on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza lauded the digital archiving of historical record. “I am pleased to see DRAP moving towards stringent regulatory authority status which would help opening new avenues for our local therapeutic products across the globe,” he said. The Executive Director of NIH Dr. Amer Ikram said, this is right step towards digital innovation in health sector.

The Country Director of USAID Global Health Supply Chain Programme Dr. Muhammad Tariq apprised the audience of USAID and the government of Pakistan’s technology cooperation for strengthening public health supply chain and digitization of DRAP record. He assured that bilateral cooperation between USAID and Pakistan is aligned with NHS and NIH vision of integrated digital health and real time information systems and that USAID-funded Global Health Supply Chain will continue providing assistance on global standards for sustainable development.

Representing office of Director General Health, Dr. Sabeen Afzal hoped that the strategic partnership would go a long way to realize the dream of e-institutionalization of the public sector.

The Chairman of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association Tauqeer Ul Haq said, the pharmaceutical sector will be the biggest beneficiary of digitization as this would lead to minimizing process time for product registration and licensing.

The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, DRAP, NIH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, WHO, JSI and USP. The ceremony concluded with handing over of DMS, and presentation of shields.