Pharmaceutical Industry

Economic Review, August 1994 | Go to article overview

Pharmaceutical Industry


Pharmaceutical Industry has emerged initially as a processing and conversion industry. It is engaged mainly in converting raw materials into different dosage forms and packaging of the finished products. The domestic pharmaceutical industry prepares drops, tablets, capsules, injections, powder and ointments etc. from imported items.

There are at present 230 licensed manufacturing pharmaceutical companies operating in the country. Of these 32 are multinationals. Census of Manufacturing Industries 1987-88 (latest available) listed 129 companies manufacturing drugs and pharmaceutical products. The value of production of these companies stood at Rs. 7.532 billion in 1987-88. Value added amounted to Rs. 2.802 billion while contribution to GDP stood at Rs. 1.727 billion. The industry employed about 14,232 workers.

At present there are 17 Pharmaceutical companies on the list of Karachi Stock Exchange and they command more than 70 per cent of total pharmaceutical sales in the country. Total equity of these companies stood at Rs. 29.40 million. Total sales of these companies in 1993 stood at Rs. 11.704 billion as compared to Rs. 10.600 billion in the preceding year, showing a rise of 10.41 per cent. Pretax Profit has also increased from Rs. 752.32 million in 1992 to Rs. 1101.67 million in 1993 depicting a rise of 46.38 per cent. Increase may be attributed to higher price allowed by the government for pharmaceuticals and depreciation of rupee.

Originally, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry was engaged in the packaging/distribution of imported medicines. Basic manufacture of drugs is still very little due largely to non-availability of raw materials in the country. Pakistan Pharmaceutical industry can be broadly classified under the following heads:-

i) Multinational Pharmaceutical Companies ii) National Pharmaceutical Companies iii) Exporters of Drugs.

TABLE - I

Installed Capacity for Various Pharmaceutical in Private Sector

                                              (Figures in million)
Forms of Medicines               Unit               Capacity

Tablets                          Nos.               11,563.28
Tablets                          Nos.                1,174.20
Injectable
a) Ampules                       Nos.                  312.47
b) Vials                         Nos.                  173.40
Liquid Preparations
(Including Vitamins and
cough syrups)                    Kgs.                   31.75
Semi-Solid Preparations
(Ointments)                      Kgs.                    1.85
Infusion Bags                    Nos.                   11.92

As many as 124 companies are members of the PPMA and these account for 80 per cent of domestic production. Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry can also be divided into the following categories:-

a) Basic and Semi Basic manufacture of Drugs

b) Formulation and Packaging of Imported drugs and finished medicines.

Capacity

Pharmaceutical Industry has emerged initially as a processing and conversion industry. It is engaged mainly in converting raw materials into different dosage forms and packaging of the finished products. The domestic pharmaceutical industry prepares drops, tablets, capsules, injections, powder and ointments etc. from imported items. The installed capacity for drugs/medicines in private sector is given in the following table I:-

Capacity utilization for the various units differs although some units are operating much above the installed capacity by working extra shifts. Some of the large units have to operate two shift operations for certain months during the year to meet the increased seasonal demand for certain therapeutic groups of medicines. For example, more cough syrups are needed in winter while vitamin and mineral consumption increases during the Holy Month of Ramzan. Unexpected tender orders sometimes also require additional shift operations. Due to these reasons some units operate much above their installed capacity. …

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