BY ASIM SHAHZAD
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), in partnership with the U.S. government, launched an innovative online platform to digitize pharmaceutical imports and exports permissions and licensing to ensure efficiency, transparency, and accountability. The system will also improve the business environment for the pharma industry, supporting Pakistan’s goal of increasing investment in this growing sector.
As per the statement issued, the newly launched system, developed by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Health Supply Chain program, is an online application system that allows therapeutic goods manufacturers, importers, and other organizations to apply online for import or export licenses, permissions, and certificates for therapeutic goods.
This system is accessible and allows stakeholders to check progress on their applications for DRAP’s decisions in real time. The digitized system also generates electronic certificates with barcode authentication that reduce time, cut costs, and enable pharmaceutical products to move more easily through the supply chain system.
“I would like to applaud the Government of Pakistan’s demonstrated commitment to developing the pharmaceutical industry and achieving international standards for medicine quality assurance systems,” said USAID Mission Director Julie A. Koenen. “The Online Import and Export System also serves as a milestone to highlight DRAP’s effectiveness as a central regulatory body for therapeutic goods in Pakistan.”
“I thank USAID for helping the Government of Pakistan with the digitization, leading to ease of doing business for the pharma industry as the Honorable Prime Minister envisioned. DRAP now has the software and business processes re-engineered to bring efficiency, transparency, and accountability,” said the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr. Faisal Sultan while speaking at the handing over ceremony of the Online Import and Export System held at a local hotel in Islamabad.
“This is a step forward in a series of reformation to bring DRAP at par with international regulatory bodies for ensuring that quality assured, safe and efficacious therapeutic goods are available in the country,” said CEO DRAP Asim Rauf. He also added that multiple electronic systems have been implemented by DRAP for quick disposal of its regulatory functions aiming to achieve organizational agility.
Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Country Director Chemonics International, appreciated the technical team work between the DRAP and GHSC PSM Project’s teams. Mr. Hussnain Abbas Kazmi, Executive Director NITB was also present on the occasion.
The U.S.-Pakistan partnership to improve the lives of Pakistanis spans 75 years. This partnership has resulted in great achievements and accomplishments, ranging from responding to calamities to providing employment opportunities and strengthening governance and public service delivery