DRAP allows the import of an abortion drug from China

Sources state that one member of the DRAP’s Registration Board from Sindh is against the registration of Abortifaciant and allowing its import into Pakistan.

According to media reports, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has allowed a local company to import a medicine used to terminate pregnancies. Sources state that the imported medicine is called Abortifacient, a drug used to terminate pregnancy up to 70 days.

Speaking to a media outlet, the DRAP official stated:

The drug was earlier available in Pakistan illegally, but it will now be imported from China. The Abortifacient drug (with the generic name Mifepristone) is also used as a contraceptive and for other purposes by obstetricians and gynecologists. However, the drug’s primary use is to terminate pregnancies under the supervision of trained and qualified health practitioners.

The official shared the import registration details of the drug and said:

The Creative Social Marketing Pakistan (Guarantee) Limited had applied for the registration of the Abortifacient and its import from the M/s Qinhuangdao Zizhu Pharma China. Following consideration, the registration board allowed the applicant to import and market it legally in the country.

DRAP’s Board Members are not in agreement about the drug import

Sources state that one member of the DRAP’s Registration Board from Sindh is against the registration of Abortifaciant and allowing its import into Pakistan. Syed Adnan Rizvi, director of Drug Testing Lab (DTL) Sindh, said:

The drug would be misused as there are no strong controls to prevent such sensitive drugs from falling into the wrong hands. Allowing Mifepristone, which is used to terminate pregnancies, amounts to legalizing pregnancies in the country. There is no effective mechanism to prevent its misuse, so I oppose registering and importing this drug into Pakistan.

Adnan Rizvi, the senior pharmacist, and former chief drug inspector Sindh, further stated:

Mifepristone could cause severe damage to a pregnant lady with ectopic pregnancy, so it should be used under the supervision of healthcare professionals. Given the availability of drugs in Pakistan, this drug would cause more harm than any good in society.

How are gynecologists and obstetricians reacting to the drug?

Senior practitioners believe that although Mifepristone is used for the termination of pregnancies, it has other uses too. The drug can be used as a contraceptive while it also helps in certain conditions to save the lives of women by controlling bleeding.

Dr. Samrina Hashmi, a senior gynecologist, explained:

Mifepristone is used to control hemorrhage and postpartum hemorrhage. It also contracts the uterus, so it is used to control bleeding following delivery. It is also used when there is a missed abortion. It can be used for missed abortion, termination of pregnancy, and therapeutic abortion. However, as per the Constitution of Pakistan, the termination of pregnancy is allowed up to 9 weeks of pregnancy if it is done in good faith and for a woman’s health.

Dr. Sadiah Pal, another senior gynecologist, and office-bearer of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (SOGP) Pakistan, also termed the registration and availability of the Abortifacient drug as a good omen for the women. She said:

Although it is not an essential drug, it can help women who are not supposed to have pregnancies due to certain conditions. As far as misuse of the drug is concerned, the abuse of all the drugs should be stopped. The most abused drugs are antibiotics followed by sedatives, antipsychotics, and many others. It is the job of the regulatory authorities to prevent the abuse of drugs instead of making essential drugs unavailable.

Medical experts in the field are welcoming the import of Abortifacient wholeheartedly, stating that it will significantly affect women’s health. However, only time will unveil what advantages or disadvantages the drug entails for the Pakistani community.

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