Pakistan to help boost local pharmaceuticals manufacturing
The Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (SLPMA) facilitated a bilateral meeting on the 24 February with visiting representatives of the Pakistani Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA).
The meeting was presided over by State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Channa Jayasumana, accompanied by Rohitha Uduwawla, Secretary to the Ministry and Dr. Lakshitha Rajakaruna. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the first State visit to Sri Lanka by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The first ever bilateral meeting between pharmaceutical manufacturers of the two countries focused on mutually beneficial proposals for both nations to leverage on opportunities provided by each for the other. State Minister Jayasumana requested the Pakistani pharmaceutical manufacturers to share their experience in developing Pakistan’s local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. He also invited the PPMA to set up joint ventures with local pharmaceutical companies to manufacture complex molecules in Sri Lanka, in order to benefit from the government’s drive to increase local pharmaceutical manufacturing to 50% of country’s requirement by 2025, where Sri Lankan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers will have to manufacture at least 350+ pharmaceuticals locally.
Responding to the invitation by the State Minister, Kashif Sajjad Sheikh, Head of the Pakistani Pharmaceutical Delegation, promised to share the best practices and technical knowhow with the SLPMA. He also invited the State Minister and SLPMA to visit Pakistan for a Roadshow on the Opportunities for Pharmaceutical manufacturing in Sri Lanka and enter into MoUs with prospective Pakistan companies, which will be facilitated by PPMA.
Elaborating further, Kashif stated that it is a good sign that Sri Lankan Government policies and the National Medicinal Regulatory Authority are supporting local manufacturing. He also emphasised the importance of extending the present buyback policy of the Government for new products to be developed in the future, which will be a definite boost for local manufacturers.
The SLPMA emphasised on the importance of the Pakistani pharma story for local policy makers, especially in learning how the Pakistani Government moved towards formulating a longterm policy and incentivised the private sector towards local manufacturing. Currently producing over 93 drugs, providing 15% of the local requirement of pharmaceuticals, the SLPMA pointed out that synergy between the two chambers will result in crucial technical transfers from Pakistan to Sri Lanka allowing the local industry to benefit from the years of research and development by the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association. The SLPMA is hoping to achieve 50% production of local pharmaceutical requirements by 2025, and a target of one billion US dollars per year in exports by 2030.