KARACHI: Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA) has warned the federal government that any decision to discontinue import of raw material of medicines from India will weaken the country’s ability to fight the coronavirus. Addressing a press conference, PPMA representatives appealed to the federal government that it should continue with the existing arrangements of import of drugs’ raw material. PPMA Senior Vice-Chairman Syed Farooq Bukhari said that import of pharmaceutical raw material from India or from any other country was done under a well-regulated regime being overseen by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan and other relevant state agencies. “We are in a virtual state of war against Covid-19 whose cases have been on the rise in Pakistan as the pharmaceutical industry is the backbone of the national apparatus put in place to fight the menace of coronavirus,” he said. He said that the vital inputs of the pharmaceutical industry should remain readily available to the drug manufacturers so that there was no shortage of essential medicines in the country during the current health emergency. “From the day one of the anti-coronavirus lockdown in the country the pharmaceutical industry has been doing its best continue with its production so that there is no shortage of medicines during the on-going health crisis,” he said. PPMA senior vice-chairman said that the federal cabinet should not take any decision against the import of medicine raw material from India or from any other country when there had been an unabated increase in Covid-19 patients in the country. Bukhari said the federal cabinet should realize that raw material of medicines was being imported from India under a well-regulated and highly supervised regime keeping in view the constant needs of the pharmaceutical industry. The decision had been taken last year to allow the import of the drugs’ raw material from India due to the fact that in absence of such an arrangement there would be an acute shortage of essential medicines in the market or otherwise their prices would increase manifold. There was also the chance of emergence of a black market of medicines if the regular import of the raw material from the neighbouring country was discontinued, he said. The PPMA office-bearers appealed to the Prime Minister Imran Khan and his special assistant on National Health Services not to take any decision against the import of therapeutic goods from India or from any other country in view of the highly critical situation of Covid-19 in Pakistan. The essential medicines are also constantly required to treat other infectious and lethal diseases in the country during this national emergency, they said.