Need for quality medicine
Asif Khan Turk
A medicine is supposed to treat a patient suffering from an ailment or disease, but what if it causes harmful effects instead of curing a patient? Unfortunately, in Pakistan, very little attention is paid by majority of the pharmaceutical companies to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and ensure quality control and the efficacy of drugs at all.
As a medicine has great importance in our lives and it is a basic need in case of any illness, therefore, it is to be noted that its preparation should be done according to the prescribed preparatory methods and specific rules and regulations, whereas special attention must be given to the quality of the ingredients required for them, because, only a standard medicine can fulfill the need of the human health.
On international level, special importance is given to the medicine preparation mechanism as well as to the quality of raw materials required for the production, while there is zero-tolerance policy for using low standard raw materials and also for violating the prescribed methods and rules and regulations. However, it is highly pertinent to mention here that in our country we see an unfavorable condition in most of the local pharmaceutical factories with respect to using low-grade raw materials and poor quality control as well as inferior quality assurance.
According to many pharma and health experts, the situation of local Pakistani medicines and healthcare products is mostly miserable as almost 90% of them are untrusted, inferior and low quality in nature that is why a number of cases are reported in media every year with respect to adverse drug reaction (ADR), particularly.
As per media reports, thousands of patients are died every year because of the violation in the drug production processes and ADR throughout the world which is properly reported, monitored and analyzed for the purpose of improvement in the production of medicines for the next time, but unfortunately, there is no such advance reporting system in Pakistan as yet to monitor the above mentioned cases in a well-managed scientific way.
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has recently established the National Pharmacovigilance Center (NPC) to monitor the safety of therapeutic goods across the country which would be a very good step towards this sacred cause, if properly started, however, still there is a long way to go and therefore, the NPC’s prime focus should be on addressing the prevailing situation in an organized procedure to achieve the desired goals.
That is why it is the right time that public, especially the patients should purchase and use the medicines of reputed multinational and big national trusted companies only. Hence, in the prevailing time we cannot compromise and put our lives in danger by using the substandard local medicines and healthcare products for our cure and care.
Therefore, the government and the concerned authorities, particularly the DRAP, must play their due role in this respect by keeping tight checking on pharmaceutical industry to make it sure that all the pharma companies, particularly the local ones do not flout the relevant rules and procedures, so it will be a great service to humanity.
Apart from this, the role of media cannot be ignored in this perspective. Therefore, all the media platforms (newspaper, radio, television and social and digital media) should create awareness about the subject discussed above and run special editions, segments, programs and shows to educate the masses about the difference between low and high quality medicines and healthcare products as much as possible in simple and easy words to make the Pakistani society developed and prosperous.
The writer is the Editor of Sunrise Today and President of the Science Journalism Society of Pakistan. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. He also tweets at: @TheAsifKhanTurk.
Good article but 90% substandard is not fair. Pakistan pharma industry has grown in term f machineries and qualified man power and procedures. The drugs made are good and up to the stander. yes some time drugs are poor in quality which can be confirmed from drug testing lab of each province. Yes the smugled indian medicine are being sold widely in ruler population of the country, the hakims are using indian sildenafil tab by crushing and reshaping into their own pills. Many drug stores are running without liscence by unqualified persons under nose f drug control dept kp and other province.