'Pak herbal medicines exports can go up by five times'

'Pak herbal medicines exports can go up by five times'

LAHORE: Pakistan has been earning around $1.5 billion through export of herbal medicines, which could beraised by five times if local companies are issued licences to prepare these medicines.

This was stated by President of Pharmaceutical Lawyers Forum and renowned pharmacist Noor Mehar Advocate, in an exclusive talk here on Sunday.

He said the volume of Indian export of herbal medicines was around $45 billion, which was double of its allopathy medicines export. He claimed that Pakistan could surpass this mark of $45bln in the next few years if the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) issues manufacturing licences to local herbal companies.

Around 5,000 herbal companies are working in Punjab only, he added.

Responding to a question, he said Rs 6 billion of aphrodisiac drugs were also available in the local market while Rs 10 billion could be earned through export if those were allowed to be manufacturedlocally. Many comapnies had applied for licences to prepare aphrodisiac medicines at local level.

Over 4,500 out of 10,000 applications for registration of herbal companies and their products had been rejected by DRAP, while only 240 licences had been issued to pharma companies to manufacture their products.

After expiry of date of application for registration oftheir products on October 1, 2014, over 10,000 herbal, nauticeutical, homeopathic, both foreign and local, companies applied for registration of their products and their registration. After a period of scrutiny, over 4,500 companies, including local and foreign ones, were found ineligible on the basis of incomplete documents and other necessary material for the reiteration through DRAP.

However, DRAP has issued licences to 636 herbal companies including 240 local and 396 multinational for manufacturing their products so far.

It was learnt that over 30,000 herbal drugs and cosmetic production companies had been operating in the country without any registration and certification from DRAP.