- Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association says regulatory officials received bribes to register globally banned paracetamol 665mg
Pharmaceutical giant GSK has rejected allegations levelled by the Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association (PYPA), which claimed that senior officials of the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) received bribes to register globally banned paracetamol 665mg at an exorbitant price in the country.
Earlier this month, Furqan Ibrahim, general secretary of PYPA, in a letter to the PM said senior DRAP officials illegally allowed heavy advertisement of the painkiller.
Ibrahim said Panadol 665mg, made my GSK and sold as Panadol Extend, was registered in Pakistan even though European countries have banned the drug. “These are extremely evil affairs of the DRAP mafia; they do not bother about the lives of Pakistanis just for money and register those drugs in Pakistan, which are banned all over the world due to serious side effects,” read the letter.
Responding to the allegations, GSK in its notice to the bourse on Friday said, “We are aware of the allegations made by the Young Pharmacists Association against DRAP, GSK and various other organisations etc. While we see no basis for these allegations, we take all concerns seriously and where appropriate, we will take the required actions.”
The pharma giant said that paracetamol is the active ingredient in popular pain relief medicines such as Panadol and is widely available in various strengths and formulations for children and adults. “Numerous studies show that paracetamol is a suitable and effective treatment for the whole family when used as directed,” it said.
GSK reiterated that Panadol Extend (665 mg modified-release paracetamol) offers “clinically proven treatment option” and is available in countries globally, “including countries in Europe (such as Denmark and Finland) and in New Zealand and Australia.”
PYPA also claims the shortage of Panadol 500mg tablet in the market is part of efforts to convert patients to Panadol 665mg, which costs more.
GSK however rejected this and stated: “Following an increase in demand for Panadol we have immediately responded with increased production and supply remains strong from our factories.”