Pakistan’s sole opium factory, the Lahore Government Opium Alkaloid Factory, has recently sprung to life after an 11-year closure. It is expected to address pressing issues in the country’s pharmaceutical and herbal industry while saving substantial foreign exchange.
The Factory’s Troubled Past
The Lahore Government Opium Alkaloid Factory, established in 1942, had previously shut its doors in 2012 due to various problems. The absence of effective enforcement measures and irregularities in distributing opium tablets to patients tainted its operations.
Savings on the Horizon
The revival of this opium manufacturing facility holds immense promise for the nation’s healthcare sector and its economy. This resurgence is estimated to result in substantial savings of approximately $400 to $500 million in foreign exchange.
Medicinal Opium for the Medical World
One of the factory’s primary roles is producing medicinal opium powder, a vital ingredient for licensed pharmaceutical companies and herbal centers.
This development marks a critical step towards ensuring the availability of this essential component for the pharmaceutical industry, which was facing challenges due to the absence of legal opium sources.
A Lifeline for Addiction Treatment
In addition to supplying the pharmaceutical industry, the factory plays a vital role in providing opium to individuals struggling with addiction problems.
As per the prescriptions of registered doctors in Punjab, opium is supplied, offering hope and treatment for those in need.
The Largest in South Asia
It’s worth noting that the Lahore Government Opium Alkaloid Factory is not just any opium facility; it is the largest opium manufacturing facility in South Asia. This stature emphasizes the factory’s importance, not just for Pakistan but for the entire region.
The Supply Chain Reboot
Narcotics Control Agencies across the provinces have worked diligently to facilitate the factory’s revival. They recently provided the first batch of 640 kg of opium, setting the wheels of progress in motion.
A-category opium, produced by the factory, is expected to be supplied to pharmaceutical companies at a competitive rate of 40 thousand rupees per kg.
The revival of Pakistan’s sole opium manufacturing facility promises to have far-reaching impacts on the nation’s healthcare industry, addiction treatment, and economic stability.