Asim Rauf, the CEO of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), emphasized the importance of international cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry during the 2nd SCO Pharmaceutical Cooperation Development Conference. This gathering of member states within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) showcased their commitment to fostering collaboration in various aspects of the pharmaceutical sector.

Raouf, attending the conference as a VIP guest in Suzhou, underscored Pakistan’s dedication to promoting pharmaceutical development and regulation. He highlighted the need for cooperation among SCO member states in ensuring drug safety, advancing research and development, and addressing global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan and other SCO members aim to ensure the availability of essential medicines, strengthen health systems, and enhance the well-being of their populations through collaborative efforts. Rauf shared Pakistan’s achievements in pharmaceutical regulation, including streamlining drug approval processes, improving quality control measures, and promoting transparency in the industry. The CEO also noted a surge in Pakistan’s pharmaceutical exports due to these advancements and expressed readiness to share experiences with other SCO member states.

In an interview, Rauf emphasized the potential for collaboration, particularly in clinical trials, and highlighted the growing imports of various products, including Chinese medicines and medical devices.

Furthermore, Rauf held bilateral meetings with representatives from other SCO member states to explore opportunities for cooperation in pharmaceutical regulation, quality control, and capacity building. These meetings aimed to strengthen ties and facilitate knowledge exchange.

The conference facilitated discussions on drug registration, pharmaceutical co-vigilance, and research and development. It concluded with the Suzhou Initiative, providing renewed momentum to the SCO’s shared vision for a closer community of shared future in the pharmaceutical sector. Health and pharmaceutical regulatory authorities, institutions, and industries from participating countries emphasized the importance of cooperation within the SCO framework to address health and medicine-related challenges effectively.

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