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Scrutiny
  
Pill-ion riders
Pharma lobby in Pakistan dunks
21/08/2008

“Why don’t Pakistanis ever get a headache? Because Disprin, the top selling Indian drug, is banned in that country!” Uh, alright, that was a bad joke. But seriously, recently Pakistan banned a proposal for importing 400 medicine brands from India as Indian drugs are 10 times cheaper than those manufactured in Pakistan by the same MNCs. Local entrepreneurs assert that the suggested imports would threaten the employments of over one million people, spoil annual exports worth more than $120 million and compromise the availability of medicines during emergencies.

But almost all the above reasons [save the employment spin] seem more confabulated than Zorro’s mask. After G. K. Pillai, Indian Commerce Secretary (left, above) met S. A. Shah, Pakistan Commerce Secretary, last year, the true reasons became clear. The pharma industry in Pakistan (worth Indian Rs. 83 billion) involves the business interests of major political parties of the country; subsequently, the big pharma players have the ability to apply extensive pressure on the national political and economic scenario. So should India ban Pakistani medicines in return? Pakistani medicines?!? What’s a Pakistani medicine?!?!

By:- B&E
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