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Medicine Availability in Pakistan: Navigating the Landscape
                                In Pakistan, access to essential medicines is a cornerstone of the healthcare system. The country’s Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) has been actively working to ensure that essential medicines are available to the population at all times, in adequate amounts, and at affordable prices. The National Essential Medicine List (NEML), updated in October 2023, is a critical document that guides the availability of these medicines based on disease prevalence, efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

The NEML is aligned with the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines, which helps standardize the selection of medicines and supports the quality of health services across Pakistan. This list is not only a tool for healthcare providers but also serves as a policy guide for the government to adopt procurement and supply chain management policies that promote the rational use of resources. Despite these efforts, challenges remain. The availability of medicines can be affected by various factors, including manufacturing issues, supply chain disruptions, and regulatory hurdles. Moreover, the opioid epidemic has highlighted the need for stringent regulatory practices to control the accessibility of prescription-only medications

. To address these challenges, stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector must collaborate to adopt innovative solutions that ensure the continuous supply of medicines. This includes strengthening the supply chain, enhancing regulatory frameworks, and fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors. As we look to the future, it is imperative that Pakistan continues to prioritize the availability of medicines. By doing so, the country can ensure that its citizens have access to the treatments they need, ultimately leading to a healthier and more prosperous nation. For those interested in the detailed NEML and the efforts of the DRA, you can find more information on their official website. It’s a testament to Pakistan’s commitment to improving patient care through the availability of cost-effective, safe, and quality medicines.

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