ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry exports reached $325 million thanks to a favorable business environment. Over the next few years, exports will continue to grow as authorities take additional steps to facilitate the sector.
This was stated by Asim Rauf, the Director General (CEO) of the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP), in an interview with company registrar, here on Friday on the sidelines of an event. The head of DRAP further said that the authority, with the active cooperation of the pharmaceutical industry, has overcome the shortage of Panadol and other painkilling tablets which are now available nationwide.
Previously, Pakistan Single Window (PSW) and DRAP had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further expand their partnership for trade facilitation through the integration of DRAP’s cross-border trade processes. The integration of DRAP systems into the PSW will provide electronic submission, processing and issuance of licenses, imported products (drugs, medical devices, health products and over-the-counter products), No Objection (NOC) certificates and other certificates as required for specified products within the regulatory jurisdiction of DRAP.
DRAP CEO Rauf said: “DRAP is mandated for the effective co-ordination and enforcement of the Medicines Act 1976 to regulate the manufacture, import, export, storage, distribution and the sale of therapeutic products in the country. Integration with the PSW system will provide DRAP with better visibility of all import and export transactions and help improve its control measures while facilitating trade through the implementation of the integrated risk management system. , digital payments and electronic integration with laboratories and other relevant service providers. . In the future, the system will also provide an interface for the electronic receipt of trade documents attested by Pakistani missions abroad to mitigate the risk of fraud and save time and money in doing business. “.
Rauf said DRAP in 2019 began digitally transferring manual data for the past 10 years containing 4.2 million files and is now the first public sector organization with the capability to perform tasks from anywhere in the world. He said digitization will help save stakeholders millions of dollars and speed up all processes from registration to licensing.
Speaking on the occasion, PSW CEO Syed Aftab Haider said: “The pharmaceutical industry has long been identified as a priority sector by the government due to its size and contribution to the national economy and of its export potential. Integration with the PSW system will help the pharmaceutical industry reduce the time and cost of trading across borders by adopting best practices in customs clearance and clearance centered on technology and digitizing procedures and clearance requirements. ‘information “.
The MoU signing ceremony marked the integration of the DRAP into the PSW system which will assist stakeholders in the clearance of pharmaceutical raw materials, products and devices for imports and exports. As part of this initiative, an extensive re-engineering of DRAP’s cross-border trade business processes was carried out, resulting in the redesign of 31 processes and the digitization of 56 paper documents. Going forward, the system will create an enabling environment for further digitalization of DRAP’s back-end processes.
The PSW allows parties involved in trade and transportation to file standardized information and documents with a single point of entry to meet all regulatory requirements related to import, export and transit. The PSW system helps reduce the time and cost of doing business by making trade-related business processes more efficient, transparent and consistent. The PSWC enables Pakistan to better integrate into global value chains and be part of the evolution of regional and global single windows.
This memorandum of understanding aims to strengthen cooperation between the two departments through the digital integration of the PSW’s IT system with the regulatory process of the DRAP. This will allow the therapeutic goods industry to use an integrated electronic platform for the import and export of raw materials and finished products using a single point of entry.
The PSW will support international trade in therapeutic goods by recognizing standardized information and documents in an online platform that will meet all import, export and transit regulatory requirements.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022