04 - 10, 2000
Local production of vital drugs to benefit patients
The recent decision of the federal health ministry
to allow local pharmaceutical companies to manufacture essential
drugs, which had always remained in short supply, has eased the
situation for some patients.
The patients were facing consistent difficulties
because of the shortage of more than two dozen low-priced essential
drugs, which were mostly manufactured by the multinational companies.
These multinationals were demanding manifold
increase in the prices of these drugs, mostly used by chronic
However, the ministry rejected their demand and
contacted some reputed national pharmaceutical companies and convinced
them to manufacture these drugs locally. Some of these drugs are now
available at cheaper rates.
The 30 essential medicines, which are now being
manufactured locally, included pyridostigmine (now being manufactured
by Tabros Pharma instead of Roche), Phenytoin (now being manufactured
by Siza), Carbamizole (now being manufactured by Pharmedic in place of
Reckitt & Coleman), Haloperidol (now manufactured by Adamjee
instead of Searle), Warfarin (now being prepared by Werrick in place
of Camudin of Knoll), Niclosamide (being manufactured by Shaigan
instead of Bayer), Glyceryl Trinitrate (now manufactured by Zafa
instead of Glaxo/Wellcome), Digoxin (now prepared by Platinum instead
of Glaxo/Wellcome) and Thyroxin (now manufactured by Dosaco in place
"We wish to acknowledge and thank the ministry
of health for these timely steps, which will ensure patient's prompt
treatment, wellbeing and satisfaction," the university said in
its letter addressed to Federal Health Minister Abdul Malik Kasi.
The efforts of the health ministry have also been
acknowledged by the Aga Khan University.
Cotton prices down as ginners fail to hold stocks
Cotton prices on Thursday suffered a modest decline
as some of the ginners were not inclined to hold long positions and
lowered their asking prices.
However, spinners were active buyers both at the
decline and the rise and lifted all the lots including some big
quality lots between Rs2,600 on the lower side and Rs2,650 on the
Floor brokers said the market rise to seasonal peak
level of Rs2,700 per maund appears to be temporary as ginners failed
to muster a lot of spinner buying and the consequent fall at this
The spot lint price, during the last two sessions,
declined by Rs50 per maund and could fall further depending on the
size of phutti arrivals into the ginneries for the fortnight ended Nov
30, but it is too early to predict about the actual size of the crop,
Although leading spinner groups continued to be
active buyers at the prevailing prices and are lifting big lots too,
the element of panic in the market is gradually fading out.
Govt to raise Rs1bn from 3 textile mills
The Privatization Commission has worked out a
strategy to raise more than Rs1 billion from the sale of three
government owned composite textile mills in Balochistan and Sindh.
Bulk of this amount, whenever it will be mobilized,
will go towards the adjustment of the losses suffered by these three
units and the accumulated liabilities.
All these three units fall within the category of
those 49 public sector enterprises which the commission has placed on
disinvestment bloc. These units will be offered to the investors
within next six to nine months and transactions should be completed in
next 12 to 18 months.
A comprehensive valuation of all the three textile
mills, two in Balochistan and one in Sindh, has already been carried
out. After applying a discount, ranging between 20 to 35 per cent, the
commission has worked out what it calls a "distress or
forced" sale value on which these units will be offered to
FAO okays $392,000
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations has approved an emergency financial assistance of $392,000 as
grant-in-aid under the Technical Cooperation Programme to the drought
affected areas in Balochistan.
Facing non-availability of sugarcane, the Frontier
Sugar Mills management on Thursday closed down the 1,200 ton per day
capacity unit at the start of the crushing season.
The FSM Managing Director, Iskandar Khan, told that
despite an offer of Rs45 per maund of sugarcane purchase, the growers
declined to supply the current crop cane to the millers.
Growers representatives said that the growers had
opted for selling their cane to the gur-makers, who are offering Rs47
per maund. One of the six sugar mills in NWFP, Saleem Sugar Mills, has
already closed down due to these pressures.
Growers suspend cane supply
Sugarcane growers have ceased supplies of sugarcane
to sugar mills, saying the millers have violated the agreement by
paying Rs45 instead of Rs60 per maund.
The growers said the Millers have agreed to pay Rs
60 per maund prior to commencement of crushing season at a meeting
held recently in Hyderabad under the officials of the government.
Meanwhile, the growers and abadgars held a meeting
to review the situation viz-a-viz the denial of agreed price by the
Millers and decided to continue suspension of sugarcane supplies to
the Mills till the restoration of agreed prices to them.
UNFPA to give $35m
The government of Pakistan and the United Nations
Fund for Population on Tuesday signed the launch of the Sixth Country
Programme for a sum of US $35 million for a four-year period