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KARACHI: Pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan should invest in research and development and adopt patents and licenses from multinational companies to bring the impetus to the growth of drug production across the country.

Addressing a seminar on "Intellectual Property Right, Patents, Copy write and Design" held at the 20th Pharma Asia Conference, Deputy Director at IPO Pakistan Syed Ali Mohammad Zaidi said adoption of patents in the pharmaceutical sector has a crucial role in its sustainable growth and expansion; however, a producer of medicine needs to invest on research and development. He urged pharmaceutical companies to invest in research, development and patents to have more share in the overall pie of sales and productions of the market.

Tajammul Haider, former focal person to WIPO (Geneva), said distribution companies of various products, mainly the pharmaceutical sector, should avail of the licenses from multinational companies to enhance the local production of the medicine. He added that the licensing regime will reduce the country's import bill and ensure the availability of medicine at the domestic level while enhancing the staff member's capacity. He said the need for more awareness in the export-oriented companies could not focus on these core issues; however, the government should encourage exporters to bring new technologies into the country.

Haider mentioned that WIPO systems have received a healthy response from foreign companies to get applications 18,000 for their registration and patents in Pakistan. In contrast, a few Pakistani companies made less attempts of filing application process. He urged universities and chambers of commerce to enlighten students and traders about patents, intellectual property rights, etc, to build an understanding of the importance of these topics.

Pakistan's pharmaceutical industry is a significant contributor to the economy, with an estimated value of $ 3.2 billion and a growth rate of around 15% annually.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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