Medicines play an important role to alleviate suffering and to improve patient health outcomes. Medicines expenditures are one-fourth of global health expenditures and as a large population of the world consumes medicines, their use and access impact us on a global scale.

The pharmaceutical industry the producer of medicines plays a vital role in drug discovery, synthesis, production, distribution and use of medicines. In Pakistan, most of the medicines used are generic and, the local pharmaceutical industry is the main provider to deliver medicines to masses. With a country of over 200 million people, Pakistan's pharmaceutical industry can play a pivotal role to ensure the availability of good quality medicines.

The WHO has advocated the local production of medicines and has drafted guidelines and policies to help achieve this goal. We hope that this conference would discuss the much-needed issues related to “access and affordability of essential medicines", “pricing of innovative and generic medicines", “intellectual property and patents", “use of generic medicines" and the issues related to " Medicines access and the Universal Health Coverage".

It is vital to engage with the pharmaceutical industry and I hope this Summit would provide a much-needed forum to bring academia, industry, regulators, decision-makers, healthcare professionals and politicians on board. I look forward to contributing towards a constructive debate on the issues related to pharmaceutical policy and global health.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020