The Pharmaceutical Industry, Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines in Pakistan

Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, Shazia Qasim Jamshed, Muhammad Ashar Malik, Hans Lofgren and Anwarul-Hassan Gilani

The pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan is worth around US$1.18 billion, with annual growth in 2010 approaching 10 per cent (Khan, 2012). There are more than 650 registered companies, including 31 multinationals, which in 2006 had a market share in value terms of 53.3 per cent, with national firms controlling the remaining 46.7 per cent (IMS Health, 2007). In 2007 medicines worth about US$100 million were exported. Medicines are a vital component of healthcare, and Pakistan spends around three-quarters of its healthcare budget on medicines (WHO, 2004). This chapter provides an overview, from a public health perspective, of the national pharmaceutical market and the development of drug policies and regulation. Pakistan adopted a Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)- compliant patent regime in 2000, and the intersection between patents and public health is a central policy challenge. This chapter highlights key issues related to intellectual property, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and production and access to medicines.

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