KARACHI: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has planned a country-wide campaign against substandard medicines, said Advisor to Prime Minister Dr Zafar Mirza while addressing the federal and provincial inspectors at Islamabad.

A crackdown is initiated throughout the country to eradicate the menace of unregistered, spurious and sub-standard medicine. In addition to medicine quality, DRAP will also take stern action on violation of fixed prices.

Availability of medicines is also a high priority for health ministry as well as its implementation instruments like DRAP. The inspectors of DRAP and provincial drug administrations have the full support of the system including health and civil administration from all the levels of the government.

The Advisor also highlighted the significance of National Medicines Policy which will be finalized within two months, followed by a five-year national implementation plan. DRAP will have a well-organized and well equipped laboratory within its own offices very soon as well. He was addressing the task force at DRAP which has the responsibility of devising plans for ensuring the adherence to the drug laws for manufacturing, licensing, sale and distribution of medicine.

Mirza shared his vision to revitalize the Drug inspectorate for performing such an important task for protection and safety of people of Pakistan. Furthermore, the mechanism of strong surveillance to prevent illegitimate manufacturing of medicine through benchmarking of companies will support the objective of National Task Force.

The NTF comprises of Federal and Provincial drug inspectors who will conduct inspections of wholesalers, distributors and retailers throughout the country. The federal and provincial authorities will adopt an action plan for coordination on the mechanism of conduct of inspections, sampling, drug testing and reporting and registering violations committed in manufacturing and sale of drugs under the law.

The manufacturing and sale of unregistered, spurious and sub-standard medicine is punishable under DRAP Act, 2012 and Drugs Act, 1976. Elements involved in such heinous activities against the public health will be prosecuted as per law.