According to a media report over USD 36 million worth of anti-rabies and anti-venom vaccines have been imported by Pakistan from India due to lack of manufacturing capacity in the country.
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Pakistan imported anti-rabies and anti-venom vaccines worth over Rs 250 crores (USD 36 million) from India over the last 16 months, reported the National newspaper on Thursday.
The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) submitted the statistics in the Senate Standing Committee after Senator Rehman Malik asked about the quantity and value of medicines being imported from India. He also asked for an answer, on the capacity of government departments for manufacturing the vaccines.
As a reply, NHS said the National Institute of Health in Pakistan manufactured both anti-rabies and anti-venom serum, also according to a report, a private company also manufactured anti-venom serum locally.
But the capacity of both manufacturers was not enough to fulfill the demand due to which the vaccines are imported by duly-approved registration holders of these products from India.
Despite the chill in bilateral ties especially after the Pulwama terror attack by a suicide bomber belonging to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist, Pakistan was still buying these vaccines.
There was a gap in demand and supply of vaccines in different regions of the country, revealed by NHS in a report.
Senator Malik suggested that it must be made mandatory for local manufacturers to produce these vaccines as Pakistan is self-sufficient in medical raw material and that vaccines manufactured here will be much more affordable.
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