The pharmaceutical companies—multination and local—are always in the limelight in Pakistan mainly for the wrong reasons. Such as the shortage of high-demand medicines during outbreak of different diseases, the staggering jump in the prices of different medicines, and the counterfeit sale of medicines.
Despite these challenges in the densely populated country of South Asia, pharmaceutical companies are continued to expand their output for meeting local and export demand amid competition within the sector.
The pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan is worth around Rs 656 billion (US$3 billion n) in FY22 as per IQVIA (a global healthcare data company). The industry has grown at a 5-year (FY18-FY22) CAGR of 15%. The Pharmaceuticals sector contributes around 1% to the overall GDP of Pakistan, which is much lower than WHO’s prescribed benchmark of 6% of GDP and regional countries like India of 1.7% and Bangladesh of 1.8%.
Here are the Top 10 leading Pharmaceutical Companies in Pakistan
- Getz Pharma
Getz Pharma is the leading producer of the medicines in Pakistan with revenue touching above Rs. 40.8 billion in the closing financial year 2021-22. With the headquarter located in Karachi, the company produces multiple brands of medicines for the treatment of different diseases. It is a USA-based country with operations spreading nearly 50 countries. Lipiget, Risek, Leflox, Celbexx, Advantec are the few most frequently prescribed medicine of these company.
GlaxoSmithKline is a British multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. It produces medicines of nearly Rs. 39.4 billion in Pakistan by the end of FY22. Amoxill, Augmentin, Septrin, Zentel are the few common medicines and vaccines consumed widely in Pakistan.
- Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories is an American multinational medical devices and healthcare company. It sold out medicines worth Rs. 39.3 billion in Pakistan by end of FY22.
Abbott Laboratories is an American multinational medical devices and healthcare company with headquarters in Abbott Park, Illinois, United States. The company was founded by Chicago physician Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888 to formulate known drugs; today, it sells medical devices, diagnostics, branded generic medicines and nutritional products.
- Sami Pharmaceuticals
SAMI Pharmaceuticals is one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan. The company claims to be the second-largest pharmaceutical company with a presence of more than 40 years in Pakistan. The company recorded a topline of Rs. 38.6 billion in the last financial year. It has focused on spreading its distribution network all across Pakistan to enhance the supply of its products. The company operates its head office and industrial units in Karachi. Some of its most common products are Nims, Novidat, Provas and Recada. The company also produces various supplements.
- Searle Company
Searle is also a listed pharmaceutical company in Pakistan. It generated medicines worth Rs. 35.8 billion in FY22. Searle Pakistan Limited (Formerly OBS Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited) is a leading pharmaceutical company with a strong presence in several countries including Pakistan. It has a production facility in Karachi with units were acquired from Merk Sharp and Dhome. The company produces injectables, tablets and capsules. Some of the famous brands are Rentic, Tryptanol, and Rinelon.
- Martin Dow
Martin Dow is a Pakistani multinational pharmaceutical company, based in Karachi. Its revenues stood at Rs. 26.2 billion by end of FY22. The company made its expansion through the acquisition of various units in Pakistan, France and Germany. The Pakistani multinational company also supplies various medical equipment and medicines. Some of the famous medicines are Bascupan, Neurobion, Sangobion, Wintogino.
- Hilton Pharma
Hilton Pharma is also a Pakistani pharmaceutical company. The company manufactures medicine for humans and animals. Its yearly production value stood at Rs. 22.29 billion. With the production facility is based in Karachi, the company focuses on R&D and biotech. The commonly known medicines of the company are Myteka, Methycobal and ALP.
- GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
The company develops innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. Its yearly revenue stood at Rs. 22.28 billion in FY22. The multinational company produces medicines for pain relief, respiratory, oral health, nutrition/gastrointestinal and skin health.
- High-Q Pharma
High-Q Pharma is a Pakistani company based in Karachi. Its revenue generation income stood at Rs. 19.8 billion in FY22. The company produces medicines and healthcare products such as Ruling, Freehale (inhaler) and biocobal.
- Bosch Pharma
Bosch Pharmaceuticals produces medicines for local and export markets. The company revenue stood at Rs. 18.6 billion in FY22. It established a robust R&D department and penetrated in local and export markets. The company is also a winner of exports awards. Famous products are Cebosh, Calamox, and Qbal.
State of Pakistan’s Pharmaceutical Industry
According to IQVIA10, a dedicated think tank of the healthcare sector, the pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan comprises of around 775 pharmaceutical companies where top 15 companies have an approximately 59% combined market share and the top 100 companies command close to 97% share of the total revenue of the industry. In terms of market share, local companies occupy around 70% of the industry’s market, whereas foreign companies have a share of 30%. This is due to low-cost generic market which is dominated by local companies while large number of new generic medicine are usually launched by foreign companies with a much higher unit price.
Issues and Challenges
Despite the increasing demand for medicines and growing sales volume, the rising cost of production and unavailability of raw materials remain a serious issue for local and multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers in Pakistan. These companies along with the government should devise a plan to produce raw materials for medicines and vaccines at a local level by improving the R&D efficiency. Also, the packaging material should be produced locally in the next few years which will contain the cost of the products and maintain the retail prices as affordable for a vast majority of patients.