Pharmaceutical industry has become an indispensable part of health care system across Pakistan. Historically pharmaceuticals have played a key role in human development by improving the quality of life and reducing the need to go to hospitals. Thanks to pharmaceutical in Pakistan that almost all epidemics and chronic diseases are curable today. As it is linked with the welfare and wellbeing of human beings, pharmaceutical industry plays a vital role in the development of a healthy and productive nation. However, despite all these extraordinary benefits of the industry, it’s a harsh truth that every year thousands of people die across Pakistan due to unavailability and inaccessibility of necessary medicines.
Pharmaceutical Industry & Exports
GlaxoSimth, Sami Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, Getz Pharmaceutical Company Ltd and Don Valley Pharma are some of the best medicine company in Pakistan with their manufacturing units situated in Lahore & Karachi. There are a lot of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Pakistan which are spread throughout the nation. Don Valley Pharma is one of them which is located in Lahore Pakistan. It is one of the best Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies in Lahore with a vast range of Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical and food supplement products. There are a lot of pharmaceutical companies in Lahore with Ittefaq Pharmacy, Ferozsons Laboratories and Care & Cure being the good pharmaceutical companies in Lahore.
In 2020, the value of the pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan was estimated to be around USD 3.2 billion, doubling from USD 1.64 billion in 2011. Total export of pharmaceutical products from Pakistan in 2019 stood at USD 218 million, from USD 44.4 million in 2003. Yet exports from the sector accounted for only 0.9 per cent of Pakistan’s total exports to the world in 2019.
Challenges faced by Pharmaceutical Industry in Pakistan
The pharmaceutical industry plays a key role in Pakistan’s economy, however it is constantly facing many challenges that are dangerous for the sustainability of a number of manufacturers & exporters. Below are some of the biggest challenges faced by pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan.
SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS
Any industry can face supply chain problems. Supply chains have witnessed an unprecedented disruption all around the world, particularly un-justifiable fares & shipments services availability issues. Even though pharmaceutical companies’ managers constantly seek to improve processes for maximum efficiency, technical contingencies might unfortunately cause a delay in the entire sector. Hence, to reduce challenges of their pharmaceutical supply chain, they change their strategy and make the best use of their resources. Even though we are in the midst of a global digital era, it is important that companies invest in monitoring software to improve efficiency. In fact, the monitoring software, bar codes, on-line raw materials & finished products processing & inventory software, etc will help you see where your products are and exact the supply chain status.
It also helps to predict potential problems. On the other hand, opting for this software will also play a role in improving accountability and will help to avoid counterfeit products to be marketed. Only few pharmaceutical companies in Pakisatan is adapting such measures such as Hilton pharma, Getz Pharma, Sami Pharma, Don Valley Pharma, Mector Pharma, etc. Don Valley Pharmaceutical being a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer & exporter in Pakistan spending huge on its supply chain system to meet its global demands.
Lack of Qualified work force
In order to define qualified workforce, we can say that it concerns people who carry out technical or intellectual work that requires thorough knowledge in a particular field line. It should be noted that work productivity within an industry depends on the qualification of the employed workforce. Relying on qualified workforce is the most essential elements that ensures a promising future in the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry needs workforce that has significant knowledge, experience and skills. The pharmaceutical sector has to increase its investment in highly-qualified workforce to continue progress. Training workforce helps to acquire the necessary skills to ensure, enhance and improve their participation in their daily tasks.
This will also help to fill in the skills’ gaps. The training will mainly focus on technical knowledge applied within the company. This is about one of the essential factors that play a substantial role in improving the company’s productivity. Indeed, the more the employee is trained, the more he becomes productive. The more productive employee earns better monetary benefits and this process enhances retention of skilled employees. Leading Pharmaceutical manufacturers & exporters like GSK, HILTON, SAMI, GETZ, Don Valley Pharma, in Pakistan market are equipped with established HR departments to meet skills, productivity & retention of employee requirements of their organization to ensure qualitative and quantitative smooth operations of their organization.
Less Technological advancement
In a knowledge based economy global business environment is mainly dominated by knowledge and innovation. In other words, knowledge and innovation are the main pillars of success for the high tech organizations. The increasing trend towards knowledge based economy and interdependent world economy pushing nations and policy makers to a complex and competitive environment. It is indispensable for nations and organizations to have a profound understating based on intellectual capital and scientific analysis. Although there are a lot of pharmaceutical manufacturing & exporting companies in Pakistan but spending on technological advancement is still a major concern. Progressive organizations like Don Valley Pharmaceuticals spending a lot on technological advancements related to their domain such as Plant & equipment up gradation, staff trainings, SOP’s implementation, evaluation of technical data and end user feedback.
UNSTAIBILITY OF RAW MATERIAL PRICES & DOLLAR FLUCTUATIONS
This is one of the major back drop for the Pakistan pharmaceutical industry as it is dependent on raw material that are imported from other countries in foreign currency .
The depreciation of the currency also is a setback for the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in pakistan because they get prices by MOH, so that the price should be reasonable for domestic market and they can compete with international competitors also while sustaining reasonable profits. The depreciation of currency increases the cost of products, equipment’s and freights, making over all business more expensive & difficult. The top leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and exporters in Pakistan like Getz pharma, CCL pharma, Sami Pharma, Hilton Pharma, Don Valley Pharma, etc find it difficult to manage the situation & cope with their global exports demands of their products. They are left the only option for their survival to invest in inventories of the materials for their un interrupted operations to meet global & local demands of their products, which add-on in the investment burden of organizations.
Pakistan can increase its pharmaceutical exports to a billion dollars within the next 5 years from the current figure. It has the potential to become one of the top exporter globally. Poor policies, relatively a smaller domestic market and an inefficient regulatory structure is denying life-saving breakthrough technologies to Health care system in Pakistan.
Another option is Contract Manufacturing which despite having a lot of potential, is not being efficiently practiced in Pakistan. Contract Manufacturing is basically the manufacturing of drugs through other pharmaceutical companies having specialization in certain formulations or technologies. Several multinationals have left Pakistan over quality production and cost issues. This could have been avoided if Contract Manufacturing Policy been adopted with expertise & technology transfer procedures with access to other markets facilitation to make it viable. Also, Technical Pharmaceutical training programs, a subsidized tax tariff, Stable $ price particularly for this life saving industry, financial facilitation in technology transfer procedures, etc could boost pharmaceutical exports from Pakistan.