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PPMA Circular regarding PIC case and the effect on Pharmaceutical exports from Pakistan

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PPMA Circular No. 016/2012PPMA-logo

February 10, 2012

To:        All Member Companies of PPMA

LETTER FOR THE EMBASSIES

Dear Members,

As you may already know regarding the unfortunate deaths reported at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in the past few weeks.  We, the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA), the representative body of the Pakistan pharma industry have been shocked by this tragedy and have full sympathies with the affected families.  We have been having contacts and meetings with the authorities and also with the technical personnel in our member companies all over Pakistan.  The main purpose of the contacts and meetings was to

1. To ascertain the facts

2. To review the Quality Assurance/ Quality Control and cGMP guidelines and SOPs for validation.

These measures would be vital to prevent any further mishap of this nature.

Coming now to the facts; the samples were sent to the government labs as well as independent labs in the UK and Belgium.  So far we have seen reports of one batch from a particular company being contaminated.  However, we are unable to share the details as the matter is subjudice as the Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken Suo Moto notice of the entire matter.

We would like to mention here that due to lot of hype created by the media, panic has been created in the public’s mind that all locally produced medicines are spurious and sub-standard.  We started getting enquiries from the foreign buyers of our medicines, asking our manufacturers to clarify the matter.  In at least two cases, the orders have been cancelled by the foreign buyers.  We held press conference in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad where we stated the facts of the matter with a view of restraining the media not to spread the misinformation campaign as it would shatter the trust that the National pharma industry has built in the public over several decades, and would lead to its collapse, paving way for counterfeits to fill the vacuum that would be created in the market.  The National pharma industry is exporting to over 60 countries and the total exports are around USD 170 million.  40% of the leading brands of medicines marketed by MNCs in Pakistan are manufactured by National companies under contract manufacturing. This is reflective of the quality manufacturing of the National industry and the trust reposed in it.  We would like to mention that the exported drugs also undergo stringent quality control checks in their respective importing countries (case in point, Afghanistan where all batches are quarantined for 15 days by their Ministry of Health and then released for marketing after QC clearance), suggesting additional safeguards for the patients.

Incidence like this one, though unfortunate, happens even in developed markets and big MNCs have recalled contaminated batches, after deaths were reported.  We strongly feel that the entire industry’s image should not be damaged because of once in a lifetime incident like this one.

We hope that we have been able to give our viewpoint, and would like to assure you that the PPMA is doing whatever it can to prevent such an occurrence in the future.  Our members have already started the process of re-validation in their manufacturing process.  We seek your understanding and support in the matter.

Thanks and regards

Riaz Hussain

Executive Director/ Secretary General PPMA

c.c.      Mr. Tariq Ikram, Acting Chairman PPMA

           Mr. Muhammad Asad, Chairman PPMA (on leave)

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PIC case gets a new twist | Efroze Chemicals ISOTAB was not prescribed to most of the victims – Mubashir Luqman

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Free medicine at Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) becomes a death sentence. 130 plus deaths. Political mud-slinging. Conspiracy theories. Spurious accusations. Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry in trouble. Catch up on the news first then read on.

Now that you are up-to-date on this bizarre story here’s a new twist! (Forward to around the 27 second mark)

What’s that now? Mubashir Luqman is on Dunya TV saying Efroze Chemical’s ISOTAB, the alleged killer drug, was not even prescribed to most of the PIC patients who died? Yes read that again. ISOTAB may not have been prescribed to those who died. Wait wasn’t the anti-malarial inadvertently added to ISOTAB conclusively responsible as the cause of death? Talha bin Ayub wrote a few days back in a guest blog on Teeth Maestro that things don’t add up medically and that a overdose from the anti-malarial can be reversed also.

We need to step back and really investigate this whole incident properly without political circuses or lynch mobs baying for blood. For the sake of the 130 plus who passed away. For the sake of the thousands that may die in the future if this entire episode is not used to structure the pharmaceutical industry, to build in safeguards, to strengthen our institutions, and to protect our people.

What do you think of this entire episode and these new developments?

Internet and Social Media in Pakistan – 24×7 with Ayesha Tammy Haq on Business Plus

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In May of last year (2011), I was invited by Tammy to be a guest on her show “24×7 with Ayesha Tammy Haq” to speak on the topic of Internet and Social Media in Pakistan, particularly in the light of the recurrent Facebook ban case that was being contested in the Lahore High Court.

The program was aired live on May 18, 2011. Fellow guests on the show were Jehan Ara, President of P@SHA and Raza Ahmed (aka Raza Rumi) who is a writer and an editor for The Friday Times.

The program went very well and we decided to do a follow-up on the same topic which was aired on May 20, 2011.

Blaagers - 110519 - Business Plus - Tammy Haq - Jehan Ara - Raza Rumi

LOVE makes the world go round! | Valentines Day

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Lets’ face it, we Love all there is to do with love. And why not?

LOVE makes the world go round!

It is a beautiful and pure emotion; Fresh & crisp like daisies in sunshine, deep & strong like the ocean. It is a need, a desire, a want, a fancy created by Allah

And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect" (Surah Ar-Rum,30: Verse, 21)

ALAS!

Come 14th February, love is hijacked & sold, like cheap candy that leaves a bad taste in the mouth – But, wrapped in very fancy paper! And they call it VALENTINE’S DAY.

Special red roses, specially designed cards, “extra special” discounts on that oh so special dinner, supported by special TV shows, specially crooned songs to get you in that special mood – the stage is set for one special marketing genius day!

You think, like millions of others, this is all specially for me? Why have we allowed love to become a commodity?

And have we considered what “brand” of love Valentine’s day is promoting? Same as the media does … “virtual love” … images of tall, dark & handsome, petite yet voluptuous, sacrifice through rebellion, passion as reckless, and “love” as pleasurable sin. Everything is so dramatic, so momentary and yet so alluring …

Do we really know the difference between real love and virtual love?
Or have we all started living in “La La Land.”

The Canadian Red Cross says,

“Valentine’s day hype can fuel youth dating violence. Our culture starts laying the groundwork at a very early age to convince young people that romantic love is all important. However, we often neglect to teach young people what’s health and what isn’t in romance."

We have imported a phenomenon that thinking people in the west are rejecting –cigarette companies found a new “market” in us when anti-smoking campaigns took hold in the west. They need to sell, we need NOT BUY.

Stop and think. Does a card with some one else’s pre printed paid emotions spell out “romance” for us? Do we want to find ”love” by following a pagan festival that had a lottery to distribute women for entertainment?

WE HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE … Realistic, constructive and fulfilling.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: NIKAH is my sunnah … (Bukhari & Muslim)

Islam offers real love, real romance and real flirting!

Yes. Flirting …

Who says we can’t flirt with our husbands/wives or be passionate or go out on dates? It is all there and worth waiting for

Allah protects us from the short lived glamour of “virtual love” and has blessed us with the finest and purest relationship between a boy and a girl – marriage.

The Prophet (PBUH) enjoyed an especially meaningful married life. By modern standards he was a liberal and open-minded man. He had no problem declaring in public that his wives were the dearest and fondest to him.

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A few decades down, we will hear “Valentine’s day is part of our cultural tradition”! Today we hear, “What is the harm in expressing love on 14th February?”

Quotable quotes

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Are we still going to press the ball gowns and tuxedos? Select a partner and set the scene for Valentine’s day? Grab the tickets and tables before they are sold out? Hook up with a friend to cover up our absence at home … just in case we miss out? … miss out on what?

YOU DECIDE.

Write-Up Courtesy Perceptions
Education through Qur’an & Sunnah
www.perceptions.org.pk

Indecency Commercialized Part Deux

Guest Post by Saeed M. Originally Posted on Author’s Space on Yello.Pk

 

 

Assalamu’Alaikum:

Masha’Allah, there are many different pockets of people speaking out about this rising tide of insensitivity in advertising. Below is an email from a colleague (her identity is referred to as K.O. for the purpose of this post) about Hiba Magazine’s efforts in rousing people towards this cause. Let’s join hands and do this collectively. The whole is greater than the sum, Insha’Allah.

 

Assalamu’Alaikum all,

HIBA Magazine has been doing a "Raise you Voice" section in their magazine for a while now.  Their initiative is to write to companies who use distasteful and inappropriate advertising to sell their products.

We are all aware of the alarming increase in obscenity and vulgarity in our media – particularly advertising. Are we not going to do anything about it?

We must wake up from our complacent slumber and raise our voice.  Do we have any other choice? Please ask your circle of influence to raise their voice.

A sample email written to Gul Ahmed Textiles is at the end of this message.

May Allah help and guide us all and may He write us among those who stand up for His deen.  Ameen

Wassalam
K.O.

 

 

HIBA MAGAZINE

Raise your Voice

For this month’s “Raise your Voice” we are sending the following letters:

1.      Omore Icecream: We sent a letter to Engro Foods, complaining about their recent advertisement of Omore. We emphasized that ridiculous dancing does little to advertise ice-cream, but does loads to promote the wrong values. You can send a letter of protest against this advertisement to their ad agency at info@ialideas.com and the_vision_factory@yahoo.co.uk. To complain to the parent company, send an email to: rkhaliq@engro.com. You can also complain at the Engro website at:
http://engrofoods.supportpad.com/submit.php?id=qwezasdqqwca1sdqwe3qw

 

2.      Gul Ahmed Textiles: We sent a letter to Gul Ahmed Textiles to protest against their billboard at Punjab Chowrangi, Clifton (among other places). You can also send in your letters / emails to:

Mr. Huzaifa Essabhai
Marketing Executive
Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Ltd
H.T/4 Landhi Industrial Area Karachi-75120
Pakistan

Ph: +92-21-111485485 Ext-6536
Fax: +92-21-5082625
Cell: +92-333-2361269
Email: huzaifa.essabhai@gulahmed.com

 

3.      Master Molty Foam: It was brought to our attention that the Master Molty Foam ad is also highly vulgar and distasteful. If you have seen this advertisement, please write to
customerssupport@master.com.pk and rehman@master.com.pk to register your protest.

 

4.      Nando’s: Has anyone noticed the alarming frequency with which the Nando’s advertisements and flyers have started to feature the phrase “hot chicks”? We sent them a strong letter of condemnation against this use of phrase.

 

5.      Accessorize: This international brand apparently did not consider local values when it placed a front page advertisement in Metropolitan, Dawn. We sent them an educational letter, requesting them to revamp their advertisements in line with the values of the country, where they are advertising. Do send them this request also,
at: generalenquiries@monsoon.co.uk

 

6.      Pepsi Cola International: Huge, glaring billboards of Slice Mango Juice are a torture to the eyes. We are sending them a letter through their website, requesting them to emphasize more on the product than on the model. Interestingly, they wrote back to us, giving us a specific address/phone number to complain on. Here it is now. Please write to them too:

MIDDLE EAST/PAKISTAN
PEPSI-COLA INTERNATIONAL
National Bank of Fujairah Bldg.
Khalid Ibn Al Waleed Road
P.O. Box 11330 Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Phone: (971 4) 3971 666
Fax: (971 4) 3972 048

 

7.      Pakola: Last year, we wrote to Pakola Milk commending them on a billboard, which was without a single model. This year, they have re-introduced the billboards, with glaring images of models. We are sending a letter of disappointment to them. You can also get in touch with them at info@pakola.com.pk and sales@pakola.com.pk

 

 

 

Sample E-Mail to Gul Ahmed Textile

From:
To: huzaifa.essabhai@gulahmed.com
Subject:
Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 11:43:52 +0600

Mr Essabhai,

Assalamu’Alaikum.

I am a fan and loyal customer of Gul Ahmed fabrics and products. Your name has been synonymous with good quality and value for money. However, I am disappointed at the current trend in your marketing. The use of female sexuality to sell products is a cheap gimmick – does it really add value to your product?  If so, then what value?  Is it worth challenging the religious and cultural sensibilities of your customers?  And yes, majority of your customers do get outraged by billboards and catalogues selling NOT just lawn but sex.  As a woman, I am appalled to see my kind being so unashamedly exploited to sell stuff.

Gul Ahmed has been a business leader of this country for decades.  You do not need to jump on the bandwagon of distasteful and morally corrupt advertising campaigns. In fact one expects you to lead the industry with an example of ethical business practices.

You must consider this seriously.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

K.O.
(A concerned citizen and customer of Gul Ahmed)

Omore – Indecency Commercialized

Guest Post by Saeed MOriginally Posted on the Author’s Yello.Pk Blog

Ever get the feeling that you’re slipping down a slippery slope, and there is not a handhold or a foothold in sight?

I remember that billboard for Jazz, put up at the intersection of KalaPul and Shahrah-e-Faisal many years ago, with a lady talking suggestively on the phone. Every time I would pass by it, I would wish that someone would do something about it. I did nothing about it. One day, I heard that it caught fire. Stories went around that some disgruntled fundos did it. And I wished I was one of them.

For some time, the ads became a little more decent. And then the deluge began. With cell phone companies leading the way, mattress peddlers, soft drink makers and just about everyone else began TV ads, billboards etc with women giving the come hither look to the poor unsuspecting men, just to sell some airtime minutes.

Soon to follow, Indian movies moved out of drawing room VCRs to our cinema halls. And women anchors on TV talk shows wearing T-Shirts. And then, women in tight clothes were all around, going to schools selling Red Bull, approaching you in shopping malls selling shampoo, and so on….

I thought the women’s liberation movement was all about liberating women from the exploitation of men. But I look around me in the year 2010 and I see beautiful women being used to sell wares. This selling is not through intelligent persuasion but through subliminal targeting and manipulation. So this is liberation?

This probably sounds like a tempest in a teacup to those who don’t remember the days before that Jazz ad. Indecency does not shock us anymore, because it is everywhere. Much less than stopping it with our hands, or speaking out against it, we often neglect to even think of these as bad in our hearts.

If things are to change, we need to be that change.

There is an ad campaign on TV these days selling Omore ice-cream, in which young men and women in tight clothes do gymnastic dance moves, to sell ICE-CREAM cones! I find it distasteful (the ad – haven’t tried the ice-cream). Yet, I was complacent. Then I received an email from a friend, informing me of a kind soul who started an email campaign to urge Engro Foods to pull that commercial. And I did the same. And I felt like it was the first blow I struck, insignificant as it was.

If we are to stop this exploitation of our sisters and daughters, we must speak out against it wherever we see it. And to back up those words with actions such as choosing a competing product in protest.

Image Courtest PakMediaBlog

If you share my view, kindly write a polite email to Engro Foods, asking them to pull the ads because they offend our religious and cultural sensibilities. You may send these to Mr. Rehan (rkhaliq@engro.com). Please remember to be polite but firm. Kindly send a Bcc to kashifhaf@gmail.com, so that he can monitor how much pressure we are exerting. And spread the word to your circle of family and friends, so that they may speak up too.

Being silent is not an option any more.

Facebook Ban – A Response to a comment on Teeth Maestro

I initially started this as a response to this comment by Arzoo on this post on Teeth Maestro on the subject of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day and the ensuing Facebook Ban but decided it needed to be on my blog for a longer response.

arzoo says:

May 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm

You are not a Religious Scholar as you admitted “I’m not a religious scholar” But yet you make a statement on something you don’t know

You Don’t Agree With All of Scholars Of Islam Including All the Prominent Scholars ? You Disagree with Prophet (PBUH) order to Umer (RZ) to kill the Jew who insulted Prophet (PBUH)

The ruling on one who insults the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

The scholars are unanimously agreed that a Muslim who insults the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) becomes a kaafir and an apostate who is to be executed. This consensus was narrated by more than one of the scholars, such as Imaam Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad, al-Khattaabi and others. Al-Saarim al-Maslool, 2/13-

http://forum.chatdd.com/religions/54002-punishment-insulting-prophet-muhammad-saw.html

 

My Response

Dear Arzoo:

I agree with you that the thought of anyone disrespecting our Prophet (SAW) should make your blood boil and make you want to chop his head off. This should be our level of Iman that we love Allah and his Rasool above all even ourselves.

I however disagree that we as individuals should go about chopping heads. This is the duty of the Khalifa to impose such a punishment and as an individual or group of muslims we have no legal Islamic right to harm anyone.

While the incident of the Jew you mentioned may have happened, the order was given by the Amir-ul-Momineen of that time (the Prophet (SAW)) and Omar (RA) would have not been right if he killed the Jew on his own initiative. Today we neither have the Prophet (SAW) in our midst nor a Khalifa. Thus, to impose these verdicts is not in our legal right.

I am all for the Government banning specific links to all that is unsafe and unislamic (includes thousands of porn websites that anybody can easily access, links to terrorist outfits, Nazi websites, and several anti-Islam websites). I am also all for the Government protesting on the international front by sending a strictly worded letter to the country where this all started (USA), raise this issue from the platform of Islamic bodies and in the UN. Blanket bans of Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Flickr, etc have just served to catapult this issue in the limelight as Fatima Ajmal, Sana Saleem and several other Blaagers have highlighted that we have created free publicity for the perpetrators of this filth and then banned our own access to be able to protest it on the forum of propogation!!

Allah (SWT) has made Islam a complete religion and way of life for us. We look at the incident of the Jew and we take it as proof for violence but we do not look at the rage of the Prophet (SAW) when he expressed his wish to go and burn the houses of those Muslims who did not come to the Masjid for Fajr. Our blood does not boil when we see the elite of this country (and increasingly the non-elite) consume alcohol and make fun of Islamic injunctions. Are we enraged when we see our country waging war against Allah and His Messenger (SAW) by allowing an interest based economy?

Granted that if I am not following one part of Islam, it doesn’t mean that I should stop following another part. We should however use this incident to do a self-evaluation and see just how we are insulting the Prophet (SAW) in our daily lives by ignoring all the things he ordered us to do.

At the end of the day, I am reminded of a verse by Allama Iqbal

Na Thi Jab Apnay Haal Ki Khabar
Dekhtay Rehay Logon Kay Aib-o-Hunar
Parri Jab Apnay Gunahoon Par Nazar
To Nigah Mein Koi Aur Bura Na Raha!