Pharmaceutical giant GSK has rejected claims by the Pakistan Youth Pharmacists Association (PYPA) that senior officials of the Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) received bribes to register the drug. paracetamol 665 mg banned globally at an exorbitant price in the country.
Earlier this month, Furqan Ibrahim, general secretary of PYPA, in a letter to the prime minister, said senior DRAP officials had illegally allowed heavy publicity for the painkiller.
Ibrahim said Panadol 665mg, made by GSK and sold as Panadol Extend, is registered in Pakistan even though European countries have banned the drug. “This is extremely diabolical DRAP mafia business; they don’t care about the lives of Pakistanis just for money and register these drugs in Pakistan which are banned all over the world due to severe side effects,” the letter reads.
DRAP received ‘bribe’ to register ‘globally banned paracetamol’, says PYPA
Responding to the allegations, GSK in its stock exchange notice on Friday said: “We are aware of the allegations made by the Association of Young Pharmacists against DRAP, GSK and various other organizations etc. Although we see no basis for these allegations, we take all concerns seriously and, where appropriate, will take appropriate action.
The pharmaceutical giant said paracetamol is the active ingredient in popular painkillers such as Panadol and is widely available in various strengths and formulations for children and adults. “Many studies show that paracetamol is a suitable and effective treatment for the whole family when used as directed,” he said.
GSK reiterated that Panadol Extend (665mg paracetamol modified release) offers a “clinically proven treatment option” and is available in countries around the world, “including countries in Europe (such as Denmark and Finland ) and in New Zealand and Australia”.
PYPA also claims that the shortage of Panadol 500mg tablets on the market is part of efforts to convert patients to the more expensive Panadol 665mg.
GSK, however, rejected this and said: “Following an increase in demand for Panadol, we immediately responded with increased production and supply remains strong at our factories.”