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Pakistan takes U-Turn

Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce through a statutory regulatory order, gave the permission to import and export medicines from India. Geo TV Reported.

Pakistan PM
PM Imran Khan (File photo: Reuters)

From 5th August 2019, Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations and suspended all bilateral trade with India in retaliation against Indian Government decision to revoke the Article 370 in Kashmir and to downgrade its special status.

But On Tuesday, Geo TV reported that Pakistan’s ministry of commerce, through a statutory regulatory order, gave the permission to import export medicines from India.

What led Pakistan to lifts its ban on import of life saving drugs from India?

Pakistan pharmaceutical industry imports nearly 50 Per cent of its raw materials for medicines from India. Not only that, Pakistan also imports various life saving drugs from India. Even Pakistan has imported over 36 million USD worth of anti-rabies and anti-venom vaccines from India over the last 16 months.

Suspension of bilateral trade with India led to acute shortage of essential medicines, including those used in treatment of cancer and heart diseases, anti-rabies and antivenin drugs, used for treatment in hepatitis and liver-related ailments. Purchasing medicines from MNC’s are at least 10 times more expensive than the ones imported from India.

According to a report from Gulf News, a strip of 10 Zantac tablets costs Pakistan Rs90 (Dh2.11) compared to India Rs14 (Dh0.71). Similarly MNC’s ciprofloxacin is available for Pakistan Rs520 whereas the Indian version costs only Pakistan Rs21.

The sudden rise in price of medicine in Pakistan makes the public angry. Even the local people of Pakistan hailed the government decision to lift off the ban.

Some Facts

  • Pakistan used to purchase medicines worth Rs. 150 Crore (on an average) from India. The amount may fluctuate with time to time.
  • The raw material bought from India is cheaper than any other part of the world, not only that Indian medicines has a very good reputation in international market.
  • India’s pharma sector export in 2018-19 was $19.2 Billion which is around 1 lakh 40 thousands Crore INR.

Pakistan wanted to harm India on the trade front but as the month passed, Pakistan began to understand the impact of its own decision. This situation shows that Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is undoubtedly not affected by Pakistan ban, as Indian industry exports medicine worth $19 Billion whereas Pakistan import was very less for Indian industry.




Aditya Raj
Aditya Raj
Writer & Co-founder of InfotOnline.

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