Pakistan recently began the phase three trials of a Covid-19 vaccine but no institute in Pakistan has been qualified to assess or approve the coronavirus drug until now.
The whole world is working extremely hard to put pandemic behind and the clinical trials for the contagious disease have been initiated in the country as well but not even a single vaccine has been approved yet although, trials are being carried out in collaboration with international partners.
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) mainly pays more attention to fix the rates of the vaccine and the registration of drugs. Drugs can be used in Pakistan only if it gets approved and used by reputed institutions in the United States of America, Japan, Canada, Australia, or any of the European countries.
No one in Pakistan is qualified to approve the potential Covid-19 vaccine and DRAP approves the drug only if the vaccine is successfully used in developed countries.
According to the authority’s former senior officer Dr. Ubaid Ali, DRAP only approves a drug after its successful usage in a developed country. “Research and analysis by DRAP have not yet acquired the status to approve a new drug to use within Pakistan or elsewhere.”
The Pakistani government is responsible for analyzing and testing any new type of medical treatment, as per the statement of Doctor Ali. This responsibility has been passed to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan under the constitution.
Chairperson Dr. Tahir Shamsi, National Institute of Blood Diseases said that DRAP did not have the authority to approve a new treatment and it only approves medicinal drugs after the US Food and Drug Administration has approved their use. He said that role of DRAP in this part is only to register drugs.
“This is why many unauthentic and unapproved treatments are being used in Pakistan’s hospitals without patients being told about the benefits or side effects of the treatment,” he said.