Pfizer, J&J, Abbott facing shortages of crucial ingredients in Pakistan

In-fighting over which level of government has authority to regulate the distribution of raw materials in Pakistan is apparently leading to shortages of ingredients needed by U.S. drug manufacturers operating there. And it may cause some of them to decide enough is enough and pull out of the volatile country, warns an influential business group.

The American Business Council, which represents 65 American drug manufacturers in Pakistan, has warned authorities in a letter that they had better get the matter sorted out or the country will soon face shortages of more than 800 drugs. The ABC said its three largest clients, Pfizer Pakistan ($PFE), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), are already being affected by the supply chain disruptions, reports in-PharmaTechnologist.

Not only that; it could lead some drug manufacturers to close up shop, which will not only be hard on Pakistani patients, but also on the country's economic development, the business organization warns.

"The situation may lead to the shutdown of operations, which will have a direct and indirect impact on employment in the pharma industry, cause a significant loss in exports and tax loss for the government, and the introduction of new life-saving drugs will be compromised," the letter says.

Further, "[u]navailability of high-quality, safe and efficacious drugs will pave the way for counterfeiters, black marketers and spurious drug makers to flood the market," in-Pharma Technologist quotes the letter as saying.

Fights over whether oversight of drug manufacturing lays with the central government or the provinces was blamed in a scandal earlier this year where tainted drugs donated to a clinic led to the deaths of more than 130 patients. The association that represents domestic manufacturers pleaded with the central government to step in and provide oversight to restore confidence in the industry.

- in-PharmaTechnologist story
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