KARACHI: The relevance of ethics to pharmaceuticals and healthcare is even more paramount. It is our responsibility to ensure that we operate with the highest levels of ethics and integrity in everything that we do, as our treatments directly touch the lives of patients and with this comes greater responsibility.
This was stated by Arshad Saeed Hussain, Chairman Pharma Bureau, at a conference here in Karachi. The conference, “Ethics and the Future of Healthcare”, was organized by the Pharma Bureau, a representative body of the research based multinational pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan with an aim to highlight importance of integrity, the role of ethics in the industry and the industry- physician relationship.
Senator Haseeb Khan said that it is our collective responsibility to make aware, educate and equip the patients and physicians in Pakistan with the right information, the right diagnosis and the right therapies and treatments.
“Being a member of standing committee for health care regulation, I have always stressed over having a Health Care and Drug Regulatory Authority (HCDRA) instead of only Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) with a limited scope”, added Hasseb Khan. Speaking on the issue of counterfeits he said, ‘not long ago we have had major catastrophes where we lost a number of human lives to the hands of substandard medicines Whether it is the cardiac patients suffering in PIC, Lahore or the cough syrup that claimed the lives of so many people, these are real challenges and they are a direct result of non-compliance and failure to follow ethics in this industry’.
‘The public and private sector needs to work together to ensure that we benefit the patients in Pakistan, follow all ethical, moral and legal obligations and above all, keep the interest of the patient our top priority,’ he added.
The importance of such a seminar is timely as wide spread availability of counterfeit medicines, rising incidence of improper diagnosis, quackery, non GMP compliant methods, have taken its toll and has taken too many precious lives in the recent past. ‘Regulatory challenges in the pharmaceutical sector have emerged over time due to underresourcing of regulatory institutions and weak accountability mechanisms,’ said Dr. Sania Nishtar of Heartfile in her keynote address.
‘These systemic constraints need to be addressed as a priority in order to achieve the goal of access to quality medicines; notwithstanding, we also need disruptive solutions, which have potential to spread a contagion of ethical behavior in the entire pharmaceutical value chain,’ she added.
‘Mass serialization of medicines with a concomitant drive to create stakeholder awareness offers such a disruptive solution,’ Dr. Sania said while strongly urging the industry to rally behind such a solution, which with the help of civil society and media engagement can be truly a game changer.
‘Integrity is the bedrock of the relationship between the private sector and the regulator. We must uphold that principle as a mechanism of safeguarding intended outcomes in the pharmaceutical sector, both from the access to medicines perspective as well as the commercial angle,’ she added.
Ayse Burcu Acarer of Novo Nordisk, Turkey also gave a presentation on the role of ethics and the future of the pharma industry which was followed by a very interesting interactive session involving participation of the audience.
Leading health care professionals and industry leaders such as Dr. Tipu Sultan, Dr. Shaheen Sheikh, Dr. Ahson Qavi and Dr. Abdul Bari spoke at the conference.
All participants agreed that compliance in the health spectrum involved going beyond laws and regulations, establishing new approaches to stakeholder interactions and of building new relationships built on trust and shared values. They also reiterated that the future for business practices should be primarily driven by values.
Apr 03, 2017 0