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Pakistan lifts ban on import of Indian drugs fearing severe shortage of medicine in the country

The list of drugs imported from India includes those to prevent or treat tuberculosis, polio and tetanus. Moreover, a number of vitamins, including B1, B2, B6, B12, D3 and zinc sulphate monohydrate have also been imported.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise in Pakistan with more than 33,000 active cases, Pakistan has decided to lift the ban it had imposed on importing Indian medicines and medicinal raw materials to prevent shortages, reports Economic Times.

According to the report, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government has decided to import much-needed key life-saving drugs and vitamins to the country from India.

The list of drugs imported from India includes those to prevent or treat tuberculosis, polio and tetanus. Moreover, a number of vitamins, including B1, B2, B6, B12, D3 and zinc sulphate monohydrate have also been imported.

Following the decision of the Modi government to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the Pakistan government had decided to suspend all kinds of trade with India.

However, with the advent of the Chinese pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan had pleaded with the government to allow for a relaxation and sought clearance for goods already imported from India.

Pharma body in Pakistan demands import from India

Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry had demanded that the ban on Indian medicines and medicinal raw material should be lifted because the country might face a severe shortage of medicines, especially life-saving drugs. The pharmaceutical body had warned the Imran Khan government that any attempt to disrupt the global supply chains related to the country’s pharma industry will hamper the country’s ability to treat coronavirus cases.

Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association senior vice chairman Syed Farooq Bukhari had suggested that the Imran Khan government should not take any decision to ban the import of medicine, raw material from India or from any other country at a time when there is an increase in coronavirus patients in the country.

With the grave threat of Chinese pandemic impacting Pakistan, the Imran Khan-led government has now allowed the import of a number of vitamins, drugs and medicinal salts from India.

Pakistan had sought Hydroxychloroquine from India

As the scourge of the Wuhan coronavirus intensifies in Pakistan, the Imran Khan government had earlier sought India’s help in combating the pandemic. Reportedly, Pakistan has formally requested India for the drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), believed to be helpful in treating the coronavirus.

India is the largest producer of the anti-malarian anti-arthritis drug and had put a ban on its exports. However, after US President Donald Trump’s request for the drug and assurance of the manufacturers that India have sufficient stock cater to both domestic and export demand, India partially lifted the restrictions on its export and fulfilled several country’s requests for the HCQ tablets. 

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