Indian pharma firms to cut medicine rates in Pakistan by a third Even as drug makers in Pakistan are reportedly cautioning against the plans of their government to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India in the medicine sector, Indian pharmaceutical industry representatives say that it will bring down medicine prices (in Pakistan) to one-third of the current rates. The Indian industry also rubbished the claims of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) of possible job losses, arguing that the domestic drug makers are unlikely to set up distribution and sales units in Pakistan and could route their supplies through existing pharmaceutical marketing and distribution channels. Newspaper reports from Islamabad had stated that PPMA Chairman Khawaja Muhammad Asad had written to Pakistan leadership and industry chambers that expansion of bilateral trade with India under MFN with respect to pharmaceuticals was not positive. PPMA feels that given the 10 times bigger size of Indian pharmaceutical industry as compared to its Pakistan counterparts, local industry in Pakistan will not survive if MFN status is granted to India. The association also wants all medicines to be in the negative list once India gets MFN status. According to D G Shah, secretary general, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, MFN status to India will do more good to Pakistan patients than to the Indian drug industry. â€œPakistan is a good market as medicine prices there are three to four times higher than that of India. The local pharmaceutical companies in that country are also importers and suppliers of MNC (Multinational Corporation) medicines. If they start importing medicines from India, that may harm the MNC interests,â€ Shah said. Stating that cross border trade of medicines is already happening in all areas neighbouring Pakistan borders, Shah said Indian drug companies have high sales in such districts. â€œThe question is whether Pakistan drugs controller will seek fresh registration for each medicine that gets imported from India. Still, patients can get affordable medicines there,â€ Shah added.