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Non-opening of LCs in banks: Medicine, medical equipment crisis likely to grip country


May 21, 2006
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Non-opening of LCs in banks: Medicine, medical equipment crisis likely to grip country​

By M. Waqar Bhatti
December 07, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Amid fast developing and alarming situation doctors’ representative bodies have warned that a serious crisis of medicines’ shortage is likely to grip the country due to the non-opening of letters of credit (LCs) for the import of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) or raw materials that will take the situation from bad to worse.
The fresh warning came from the drug makers Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) that coincided with the alert issued by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) which warned that the country’s health delivery system is already in shambles and cannot afford any further damage.
“Most of the pharmaceutical companies are left with stocks of raw material for a few next weeks and if the fresh consignments are not supplied within the next few weeks, majority of the factories would not be able to continue their production,” said the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) statement. “This crisis would lead to another crisis when it would open venues for smuggling and black market burdening the consumers and putting a dent to the exchequer. So if the timely action is not taken and the pharmaceuticals are not allowed opening of LCs for the import of raw material the situation would slip out of everyone’s hands.”
Earlier Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) expressed its concerns over the statement of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has verbally conveyed to all local banks not to open LCs due to shortage of dollars. “If the LCs are not opened soon, it may result in medicine shortages because most of the pharmaceutical companies have only two months’ raw material available with them and they are unable to place orders for the raw material for the future,” PMA Secretary-General Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro said in a statement.
“If suitable measures are not taken to avoid shortage of medicine in upcoming days, we are scared that this situation will lead to black marketing and smuggling and eventually the prices of the medicine will go beyond the reach of the poor people,” he said. PMA has demanded the government take appropriate measures immediately to avoid any ugly situation and save the lives of people.

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