Action against unregistered herbal companies: 37 sealed,40 arrested

LAHORE: In a crackdown against unregistered herbal companies, after the passage of last date for registration of their products (October 1), as many as 2014,37 herbal companies have been sealed.

During the raids almost 40 persons were apprehended by the provincial drug inspectors.This was stated by Pharmaceutical Legal Expert for Drug Regulations of Ministry of Health and a pharmacist, Noor Muhammad Mahar while talking to APP here on Wednesday.

After the formation of Health Bill for Alternative Medicines 2012,on which implementation was started in May this year, as many as over 2700 herbal companies applied for registration of their 85000 products.”Most including two big companies of herbal products did not apply to register their products”, he said.

Under the Herbal Bill,provincial drug inspectors have launched crackdown including raids at medical stores and offices of herbal firms to seize the unregistered products of unregistered companies,besides filling cases for prosecution in drug courts,it added.

Under this Act,a punishment of imprisonment from seven to ten years,besides cash fine will be awarded to violaters of the Herbal Act for not registering their companies and products.

The registration fee for a company is Rs. 10,000, and for their products it ranges from Rs 250 to 2000.

It was learnt that over 30,000 herbal drugs and cosmetic production companies had been operating in the country without any registration and certification from the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP).

It was learnt that some 250 companies decided to close down their businesses due to misconception regarding ‘implementation’ of Health Bill for Alternative Medicines.