Guidelines on Risk Based Sampling and Testing of Drugs; Comments invited on draft Document

At the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), our commitment to public health and safety drives our actions. We recognize that ensuring the quality and efficacy of pharmaceutical products is paramount. To achieve this, we emphasize risk-based sampling and testing strategies for assuring Safety and Quality of therapeutic goods to safeguard public health.

These Guidelines reflect a structured approach on regulatory oversight by allocating resources efficiently by prioritizing sampling collection, testing, and surveillance based on risk levels. This ensures that critical aspects of drug quality receive the attention at first and enable focusing regulatory efforts to high-risk areas. The draft guidelines are prepared based on the recommendation of ICH Q9 (Quality Risk Management), WHO working document QAS/15.630, and USP-PQM guidance document for implementing risk-based post-marketing quality surveillance in low and middle-income countries.

DRAP invites all interested parties and relevant stakeholders to provide their comments and inputs on the draft guideline. Stakeholders can submit their comments and suggestions within 15 days of uploading this document using prescribed format, (further information on comments submission can access on this link. Comments and suggestions can be forwarded via email to with a copy to or can be posted at the following mailing address: Assistant Director (QC-II), Quality Assurance & Laboratory Testing, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, 3rd floor, TF Complex, 7th Mauve Area, G-9/4, Islamabad.

DRAP appreciates your participation and contribution to this consultation process.

Consultative Workshop on Guidelines on Recalls and Rapid Alerts of Defective Therapeutic Goods

Consultative Workshop on Guidelines on Recalls and Rapid Alerts of Defective Therapeutic Goods

National Regulatory Authorities are responsible to ensure that recalls are handled properly and promptly, including alerting the public, classifying the type of drug recall, and safely removing the affected product from the market. DRAP in collaboration with WHO, organized one-day consultative workshop on “Guidelines on Recalls and Rapid Alerts of Defective Therapeutic Goods” held at DRAP Headquarter in Islamabad on 20th July, 2023. The workshop was aimed at ensuring strong communication skills and knowledge to effectively handle the SF threat and execution of recalls and rapid alerts. Government Analysts from all Quality Control Laboratories (QCLs) working under the DRAP Act 2012 and Drug Act 1976, as well and representatives from drug control administration of all federating units participated in the workshop.

The workshop focused on the following key objectives:

  1. Implementation of effective and integrated Recall and Rapid Alert system in Pakistan.
  2. Emphasizing the need and importance of Recall and Rapid Alert System.
  3. Training and building capacity of all the participants.
  4. Enhancing coordination and communication with provincial governments and related departments.
  5. Safe disposal system of SF products
  6. Improvement in DRAP’s guidelines and harmonization with International best practices.

Risk Communication flow chart for handling SF threats

Core Activities and Topics Covered

1. Introduction and Objectives of Workshop The day began with an overview of current system for rapid alerts and recalls for removing defective therapeutic goods from the market. Director Quality Assurance and Lab Testing, DRAP briefed the participants on the strategies designed to strengthen the collaboration among regulators and QCLs of all federating units. He emphasized the importance of timely and accurate communication to combat the challenge of SF therapeutic goods.

2. Overview of DRAP’s guidelines on Recalls and Rapid Alerts of Defective products This session explained the guidelines of DRAP and action response currently opted by DRAP, highlighting its strengths and limitations. Participants engaged in group discussions to evaluate which methods would be most effective in different scenarios.

3. WHO recommendation on Recalls and Rapid Alerts System in the benchmarking visit Participants were introduced to the WHO GBT indicators, sub-indicators and IDPs, WHO recent visit and their recommendation for the improvement of the current Rapid Alert system. The trainer comprehensively delivered the details, ensuring that the information provided is easily comprehensible and actionable.

4. Harmonization of Terminologies for Defective Products and Role of QCLs in Detection and Disposal of SF products This segment focused on the terminologies being used nationally and their harmonization with WHO recommended terminologies. Later the role of Quality Control Laboratories was emphasized and discussed in group discussion. 

5. Best practices for storage and disposal of SF products This session highlighted the current available practices and international practices as recommended by the WHO for safe storage and disposing of the SF products.

6.Effective communication among stakeholders for their removal from the market ;Recall is an effective means of protecting the public from a defective or potentially harmful product, and strong communication among relevant stakeholders is essential for the effective recall of SF Products. It was suggested to utilized modern communication channels by all federating units to ensure in time action on trigger information to safeguard public health. It was agreed by all the participants that prompt and effective communication is very crucial for implementing an proficient Rapid Alert and Recall System to removal of SF product from markets. 

7. Practical Exercises The afternoon session involved hands-on practical exercises. Participants were divided into groups and tasked with case studies for different hypothetical scenarios. Case studies and simulations illustrated the effective collaboration between all the relevant stakeholders. This interactive exercise encouraged teamwork and allowed attendees to apply the concepts learned throughout the day.

8. Concluding Remarks and Distribution of Certificates Director Pharmaceutical Evaluation & Registration (PE&R) concluded the workshop with his closing remarks on appreciating the active participation from all regulatory entities and QCLs across Pakistan. The certificates of participation were distributed among the participants at the end of session.  

Stakeholders Comments are invited on the Draft Guidelines on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)

Although the Drugs (Licensing, Registering & Advertising) Rules, 1976 under the Drugs Act, 1976 provides detail requirements on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), however, DRAP intends to provide a compiled GMP guidance document stipulating Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan’s (DRAP) expectations on GMP from pharmaceutical & biological drugs manufacturers.

This document is intended to provide guidance regarding Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical & biological drug in accordance with the Drugs (Licensing, Registering & Advertising) Rules, 1976, under the Drugs Act, 1976, the good manufacturing practices aim at ensuring that:

  1. Products are consistently produced and controlled to the quality standards appropriate to their intended use
  2. Products are manufactured as required by the marketing authorization or product specification; and
  3. All those risks have been diminished that are inherent in any pharmaceutical / biological production operation, including contamination, cross contamination and mix ups (confusion) that cannot be detected completely through the testing of final products.

This draft guideline is uploaded on the official website of DRAP dated 5th January, 2023 seeking comments and suggestions from stakeholders on the draft document. Stakeholders can submit their comments and suggestions within 15 days of uploading this document using prescribed format, (further information on comments submission can be accessed on this link). Comments and suggestions can be forwarded via email to, copying at , or can be posted at mailing address, Additional Director, Quality Assurance & Lab Testing, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, 3rd floor TF Complex, 7th Mauve Area, G-9/4, Islamabad.