The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has finalized a plan to start model pharmacies at four (4) different districts of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa (KP). This step was taken to provide the life-saving medicines to the public round the clock and to discourage the menace of creating an illegal shortage of medicine.
It is a common practice that the drug mafias purchase the commonly used drugs from the market in bulk and then store it at undisclosed locations. These medicines are then sold on higher rates to the people who are in dire need of it. This practice also aggravates the condition of the majority of patients due to missing their timely doses.
The model pharmacies will also provide high-cost medicine at discounted prices. This step will be extended to the people in the second phase of this project, which will benefit the ailing humanity and poor people at large.
The Drug Regulatory Authority has directed its regional office to initiate work in this regard. Initially, 4 model Pharmacies will be established in Peshawar, Abbottabad and Dera Ismail Khan.
DRAP has also directed the pharmaceutical association, chemists and druggist associations, Pakistan pharmacists association (PPA) and other concerned organizations for the timely supply of the medicine to the distributors and medical stores and no shortage of drugs shall be reported.
Apart from KP, these model Pharmacies will also be established throughout Pakistan and their network will be extended to different areas with the passage of time. In the first phase, the model Pharmacies will be established in the major cities of Pakistan which includes Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Abbottabad, Sukkar, Hyderabad, Muzaffarabad, DI Khan, Loralai and Gilgit.
DRAP will conduct a survey of medical stores situated at desired locations in this regard. The medical stores which have the services of qualified category A pharmacists, required areas and facilities as per specifications will be declared as model Pharmacies. The federal and provincial drug inspectors are directed to help the authorities in this regard and find such pharmacies which can be located easily by the consumers and can be accessed from different areas easily.
It is to be noted here that the majority of medical stores in Pakistan lacs the basic facilities. In villages and far-flung areas, the medical stores are being run by the non-qualified person having no knowledge of medicine. The same trend also prevails in the majority of medical stores situated in cities. Educating patient about the safe use and efficacious use of medicines is also not possible without the presence of qualified category A pharmacists in medical stores.
Facilities like refrigerators and air conditions are not present in 90% of the medical store which is a basic requirement to keep the medicine safe. The effectiveness of the medicine cannot be maintained without keeping the temperature of a medical store at a required level. In such situation provision of qualified medicine to the public is not possible.
Criteria for the issuance of a license for a medical store, pharmacy, distribution and wholesale setup has already been approved by the respective provincial governments but its effective implementation is still a dream.
DRPA will also appoint a focal person for this project who will receive a weekly report from the concerned federal and provincial drug inspectors. This report will also be forwarded to the DRAP CEO on a weekly basis. Two WhatsApp groups have also been created for this purpose in DRAP headquarter for the effective monitoring of the project.
This step of DRAP has been widely appreciated by the people belonging to different walk of life. The people are of the opinion that this decision of the govt must be implemented without any delay. This will not only eliminate the menace of quackery but will also put a full stop to the sale of spurious, unwarranted and substandard drugs from the market.