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Pakistan To Lift Ban On Exchange Of Medicines With India On Humanitarian Grounds

Despite the recent increase in tensions due to Indian action in Kashmir, Pakistan has decided to lift the ban on the export and import of life saving medicines from India.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, the decision by Pakistan to restart the exchange of medicines with India was taken on humanitarian grounds in order to prevent a shortage of medicines essential for health in both the South Asian countries.

The decision had been taken following degradation of trade and diplomatic ties after India revoked Kashmir’s special status by repealing Article 370 of its constitution.

As of now, Pakistan imports 820 chemicals for medical use from around the world. Out of these, 60 chemicals are imported from India. Of the chemicals imported from India, 23 are used in life-saving medicines to treat blood pressure, cancer, heart diseases, tuberculosis, and diabetes.

Early this week, the Ministry of Commerce had issued a notification that sought to amend the import policy order 2016.  The notification stated that the ban on exchange of medicines would not be applicable to therapeutic products regulated by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.

The ban had adversely affected the prices of medicines last month. The ban had the potential to cause a shortage of life-saving drugs in Pakistan as for the production of medicines, 50 percent of the raw material is imported from India.

The decision to lift the ban has received praise from medical professionals.

The pharmaceutical industry feared that the ban could produce a shortage of life-saving medicines and hence their representatives met with the Federal Health Minister Dr Zafar Mirza this month.

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The pharmaceutical industry believes that importing raw material from India is relatively cheaper and keeps the production cost low.

Citizens on social media have praised the decision, appreciating the fact that humanity has prevailed over political issues.

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