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HomeJan 15-31, 2024Registration of Herbal drugs and ensuring their quality

Registration of Herbal drugs and ensuring their quality

I want to draw your kind attention towards a grave and deceitful wastage and a drag on the beleaguered economy of Pakistan in the background of severe foreign exchange reserves of the country because of which our country has become a beggar economy.

Few days back, I went to a registered Pharmacy shop in Lahore to purchase some drugs for my relative. I needed Tab. Folic acid 5 mg, capsules of Evion 400 mg (Tocopherol) and some other drugs. These drugs are manufactured by Messer’s Zafa (Ltd) and Messer’s Martin- DOW (Ltd). The chemist told me that there are imported versions of these drugs. Not revealing that I am a doctor, I asked him to show those imported versions of these. He showed me those. Below is comparative price of these drug brands.

Apart from few examples mentioned above, there are now numerous preparations made in the name of Herbionics or Herbiotics or Herbal by different companies. If one visits many Pharmacies these days, one finds almost half the shops filled with such costly drugs with the label of herbal drugs.

One may ask the DRAP (Drug Regulatory Authority, Pakistan) whether these herbal drugs are duly registered with DRAP and whether these herbal companies are also registered with DRAP to market these drugs at double or triple cost compared to these very drugs prepared by national and multi-national Pharmaceutical Companies which are registered with DRAP or other regulatory bodies in Pakistan. I observed that even these old registered companies are now marketing the herbal drugs under the title of Herbal Divisions of these companies. Are these allowed per law by DRAP or Provincial Regulatory bodies to market these herbal drugs?

I request the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Health and DRAP to take notice of these anomalous practices. In this way massive foreign exchange is being wasted. I wish an urgent notice is taken on above practices by authorities mentioned above in national interest and stop this wastage of national resources.

One hopes that the DRAP will issue a statement regarding the registration of these herbal preparations and whether they are also subjected to the same standard of quality control and testing by the Drug Testing Laboratories like other drugs. The public has a right to know the facts.

Prof. Eice Muhammad,
Ex-member of Provincial
Quality Control Board
(for drugs), Punjab.
dr.eicemuhammad44@gmail.com

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