KATHMANDU, July 14: The Association of Pharmaceutical Producers of Nepal (APPON) has cautioned the government not to allow the selling of substandard sanitizers, saying that rampant selling of low quality sanitizers pose risks to human health.
In this regard, the APPON on Tuesday picketed the Department of Drug Administration (DDA) office in Baneshwar. The umbrella organization of domestic drugs manufacturers also condemned the government decision to extend the registration deadlines for imported sanitizers.
“Extension of the deadline and allowing the selling of products without quality testing for another three months means to create risks to the general people’s health,” reads a press release issued by APPON.
The DDA last month directed importers and suppliers to increase the import, supply and stockpile of medicines of chronic diseases — asthma and diabetes — and drugs required in intensive care units. The national drug regulator issued the directive citing the rising COVID-19 cases and complaints of a short supply of lifesaving medicines used in intensive care units and those needed to treat chronic diseases. In this regard, it also allowed the selling of imported sanitizers without receiving the government license for the next three months.
According to the association, there are more than six dozen drug manufacturers in the country. The domestic companies are capable of producing quality medical logistics such as sanitizer, personal protective equipment, face masks and dietary supplements that are in high demand with the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Since the past few years, the government has made mandatory the World Health Organization’s Good Manufacturing Practice for the drugs manufacturers, which is considered the bottom line for quality assurance in the related products. Of late, the domestic companies have also upgraded their capacity in production of general medicines and a number of health related products.
According to APPON, the market is however flooded with imported substandard products without any stringent government measures for quality testing. Since long, the association has also been demanding the government enforce protectionism policies for such types of medicinal products to safeguard the domestic companies.