Pakistan lags behind India and China in global pharmaceutical research.
India earned about 1.5 billion dollars from sponsored clinical research in 2010. Its revenue is expected to be over three billion dollars in 2011.
Most Pakistan industry experts said unless the government encourages research culture and streamlines public-sector universities, Pakistan will continue lagging behind in pharmaceutical research.
Leading multinational pharmaceutical company research head, requesting anonymity said that China and India are heavily investing in research facilities.
"These countries are creating a culture of research for drug development that will take them further ahead of Pakistan," the Express Tribune quoted him, as saying.
"They are providing benefits to their patients with new treatments. This has also helped them in authenticating their registration process by getting local pre-registration data. China and India are benefitting from generating revenue by giving industry status to clinical research," he added.
However, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) Chairman Haroon Qassim said local pharmaceutical industry has witnessed tremendous growth in the past 15 years.
"Earlier, it would be unfair to expect good research from small firms with low budgets. But now that the local pharmaceutical companies have grown substantially in the last decade, we can expect good research from local companies," he said.
Medisure Laboratories CEO Dr Kaisar Waheed blamed lack of funds responsible for Pakistan's ailing research environment.
"The local industry is worth around Rs145-150 billion. How can such a small industry invest in research that requires millions?", he said.
Waheed suggested that public and private sector partnership and adequate funding to public sector universities would give a boost to pharmaceutical research.