Pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan
The pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan has grown during the past recent decades. At the time of the independence of Pakistan in 1947, there were few production units in the country. Currently Pakistan has more than 800 large volume pharmaceutical formulation units, including those operated by 25 multinationals present in the country. The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry meets around 90% of the country's demand of finished dosage forms and 4% of Active ingredients. Specialized finished dosage forms such as soft gelatin capsules, parenteral fat emulsions and Metered-dose inhalers continue to be imported. There are only a few bulk drug Active ingredient producers and Pakistan mainly depends on imports of bulk drugs for its formulation needs resulting in frequent drug shortages. Political disturbances and allegations of under-invoicing add to the uncertainty of imports and clashes with the customs and tax authorities are common.
The National pharma industry has shown growth over the years, particularly over the last decade. The industry is trying to upgrade itself and today the majority industry is following local Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) laws, with a few in accordance with international guidance. Currently the industry has the capacity to manufacture a variety of traditional products ranging from simple pills to capsules, ointments and syrups.
The Pakistan pharma industry is relatively well known in the Developing Asian markets with an export turnover of US$1 Billion as of 2013. Its main partners included neighboring Afghanistan which itself doesn't have a medicinal industry, Tajikistan as well as other central Asian republics. In the past, Sri Lanka used to be Pakistan's biggest medicinal importer however trading volumes have recently slightly subsided. Now more companies are having interest in investing in Pakistan's medicinal Industries. Companies like Merck, Abbott and GlaxoSmithKline have reported a great increase in profits in 2013.