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THE DRUGS ACT
(XXXI OF 1976
)

[llth May, 1976]
An Act to regulate the import, export, manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of drugs

Preamble : Whereas it is expedient to regulate the import, export, manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of drugs:
It is hereby enacted as follows:--

CHAPTER I

Introductory

1. Short title, extent and commencement: (1) This Act may be called the Drugs Act, 1976.
(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan.
(3) It shall come into force at once.

COMMENTS

Object : The act provided for the control of import, export, manufacture, sale, supply and distribution of the drugs.

In recent years there has been a great increase in the number of objectionable advertisements published in newspapers or magazines or otherwise relating to alleged cures for venereal diseases, sexual stimulants and cures for certain other deadly diseases. These advertisements tended to cause the ignorant and the unwary to resort to self-medication with harmful drugs and appliances or to resort to quacks who indulge in such advertisements for treatment which cause great harm. It was, therefore, considered necessary in the public interest to put a stop to such undesirable advertisements.

The Act, it should be noted, is hot in derogation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 which still holds the field. The Drugs Act, 1940 has of course been repealed and superseded by this Act. A comparison of the two Acts will show that the present Act is much more exhaustive and covers a large number of new grounds, legislation in respect of which was an imperative necessity due to the advance of times and change of tactics by manufacturers and dealers of drugs In jointly making the best use of their profession to their personal advantage and gain regardless of the welfare of the nation as a whole.

Preamble : Registration under the Drugs Act, 1976 would not constitute defence against the infringement regulated by the Patents and Designs ACT; 1911, two statutes covering different fields and controlling distinct classes of activities. P L D 1991 Kar. 252.

Islamisation of Laws: The Drugs Act, 1976 is not repugnant to Sharia P L D 1986 F S C 29.

Investigation: The Police Officers could investigate into offences under the Drugs Act, 1976 either upon their own information or on information given under Section 154, Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 irrespective of fact whether the informant was Drugs Inspector or someone else. 1979 P Cr. L J Note 6 at p. 4.

Offence under this Act: Offence under this Act can be investigated by Police Officer either upon his own information or upon information given to him under Section 154 Criminal Procedure Code. (1898). Whether informer is Drug Inspector or not No provision in this Act corresponds to Section 196 or Section 199, Criminal Procedure Code (1898). P L J 1978 Kar. 216.

Jurisdiction : The alleged offence was committed prior to enfforcement of the Drugs Act. XXXI of 1976. The Drugs Court, had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of such offence. Offence was committed under the Drugs Act, 1940. Provision of new law (lid not permit the Drugs Court to take cognizance of offence committed under the Act, 1940 proceedings were illegal. Prosecution could take steps to refer case to a Court of the competent jurisdiction. 1980 P Cr. L J 738.

Act apply to provincially Administered Tribal Areas of Balochistan: No. 80 (T.A) 13-1/91, dated 18-2-1992. In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 247 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Governor of Balochistan with the approval of the President is pleased to direct that the drugs Act, 1976 (XXXI of 1976) and the rules made thereunder, as in force in the, Province of Balochistan immediately before the issue of Notification shall apply to the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas of Balochistan.

Renewal of licence under Drugs Act, 1976 : The petitioner a licensed manufacturer of the drugs, under, the Drugs Act, 1976 submitted t, he application for renewal of licence under new law as required by Rules. Facts revealing petitioner having been dealt with left-handedly and adverse action having been taken rather irresponsibly in rejecting petitioner's application. Appeal filed by petitioner heard by Appellate Board including two such members who complained of having not been treated with respect by petitioner and launching criminal proceedings against petitioner through Martial Law authorities in consequence whereof petitioner arrested and remained in jail until released on bail. The Board in circumstances. could not be said to have acted in the manner to let justice appear to be done. Justice not only to be done but has manifestly to appear being done. Order of the Appellate Board, not with lawful authority. The case was remitted back to be decided keeping in view background of the case, facts as well as law. P L. D 1978 Lah. 1249.

Admissibility of admitting expenses : Claim of assessee of sale promotion expenses in excess of five per cent. of the turn over in violation of Rr. 12 & 35 of the Drugs (Licensing, Registration and Advertising) Rules, 1976 Admissibility. Penalty provided by Rr. 33 & 12 of Drugs (Licensing, Registration and Advertising) Rules, 1976, having not been provided in Income tax Law, could not be extended to the assessee's case. Expenses incurred by the assessee, on advertising sale promotion etc., therefore, were admissible expenses. 1995 P T D 1128.

Assessing Officer disallowed expenditure incurred excess of five per cent of turn-over on sales promotion under R. ,33 of Drugs (Licensing, Registration and Advertising) Rules, 1976 Penalty provided under the said rule held, could not be extended to the provisions (Income Tax Ordinance as no such penalty had been provided in the Ordinance. 1995 P T D 577.

"Hexa-Chlorophene liquid soap"-Nature of product : Nature of product, could he gauged from properties of compound and primary use of the product. Hexa-Chlorophene Soap", containing 0.25% of the Hexa-chlorophene and 12% solution of potassium soap, registered in the National Pharmulary as drug and primarily used for care and treatment of skin was essentially medical drug. Such product could not be treated as article of perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparation 1986 M L D 63.

2. Application of other laws not barred: The provisions of this Act, shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 (11 of 1930), and any other law for the time being in force.

COMMENTS

No. SO. (T.A.) 13-1/91, dated 18-2-1992.-- In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 247 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Governor of Balochistan, with the approval of the President is pleased to direct that the Drugs Act, 1976 (XXXI of 1976) and the Rules made thereunder, as in force in the Province of Balochistan immediately before the issue of Notification shall apply to the Provincially Administered tribal Areas of Balochistan.

3. Definitions: In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,--
(a) "adulterated drugs" means a durg--

(i) which consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid or decomposed substance or which contains any foreign matter, vermin, worm, rodent or insect; or
(ii) which has been manufactured, packed, or held under unsanitary conditions whereby it [has] been contaminated with dirt, filth or any other foreign matter or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health; or
(iii) the container of which releases any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render the contents injurious to health; or
(iv) which bears or contains as an ingredient a substance other than the prescribed substance; or
(v) with which any substance has been mixed or packed so as to reduce its quality or strength or for which any substance has been substituted wholly or in part;

(b) "Appellate Board" means the Board constituted under Section 9;
(c)"batch" means a quantity of any drug produced during a given cycle of manufacture;
(d) "batch number" means a designation printed on the label of a drug that identifies the batch and permits the production history of the batch, including all stages of manufacture and control, to be traced and reviewed;
(e) "Central Licensing Board" means a Board set up under Section 5;
(f) "counterfeit drug" means a drug the label' or outerpacking of which is an imitation of, or resembles or so nearly resembles as to be calculated to deceive the label or outer-packing of a drug of another manufacture;
(g) "drug" includes--
(i) any substance or mixture of substances that is manufactured, sold, stored, offered for sale or represented for internal or external use in the treatment, mitigation, prevention or diagnosis of diseases, an abnormal physical state, or the symptoms thereof in human beings or animals or the restoration, correction, or modification of organic functions in human beings or animals, not being a substance exclusively used or prepared for use in accordance with the ayurvedic, unani, homoeopathic or biochemic system of treatment except those substances and in accordance with
such conditions as may be prescribed;

(ii) abortive and contraceptive substances, agents and devices, surgical ligatures, sutures, bandages, absorbent cotton, disinfectants, bacteriophages, adhesive plasters, gelatine capsules and antiseptic solutions;

(iii) such substances intended to be used for the destruction or repulsion of such vermin, insects, rodents and other organism as cause, carry or transmit disease in human beings or animals or for disinfection in residential areas or in premises in which food is manufactured, prepared or kept or stored;

(iv) such pesticides as may cause health hazard to the public;

(v) any substance mentioned as monograph or as a preparation in the Pakistan Pharmacopoeia or the Pakistan National Formulary or the International Pharmacopoeia or the British Pharmacopoeia or the British Pharmaceutical Codex or the United States Pharmacopoeia or the National Formulary of the United States, whether alone or in combination with any substance exclusively used in the unani, ayurvedic, homoeopathic or biochemic system of treatment, and intended to be used for any of the purposes mentioned in sub-clauses (i), (ii) and (iii), and

(vi) any other substance which the Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, declare to 'be a "drug" for the purposes of this Act;

(h) "expiry date" means the date stated on the label of a drug after which the drug is not expected to retain its claimed efficacy, safety, quality or potency or after which it is not permissible to sell the drug;
(i) "expert" means a specialist through university education and experience in the relevant field;
(j) "export", with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means to take out of Pakistan by sea, land or air;
(k) "generic name" means the non-proprietary, scientific or official name of a drug as approved by the Federal Government;
(l) "Government analysis" means a Federal Government Analyst or Provincial Government Analyst appointed under Section 16;
(m) "import" with its grammatic31 variations and cognate expressions means to bring into Pakistan by sea, land or air;
(n) "Inspector" means a Federal Inspector or a Provincial Inspector appointed under Section 17;
(o) "label" means a display of written, printed or graphic matter upon the immediate container, or the outside container or wrapper of a drug package;
"Labelling" means all labels and other written, printed or graphic matter accompanying any drug;
(q) "licensing authority" means such authority as may be prescribed;
(r) "manufacture", in relation to a drug, means all operations involved in the production of the drug, including processing, compounding, formulating, filling, packing, repacking, altering, ornamenting, finishing and labelling with a view to its storage, sale and distribution, but does not include the compounding and dispensing or the packing of any drug in the ordinary course of retail business or on a prescription of a registered medical practitioner or dentist or of a veterinarian and "to manufacture" shall be construed accordingly;
(s) "misbranded drug" means a drug--

(i) which is not labelled in the prescribed manner; or
(ii) on the label or labelling of which any word, statement or other matter or information required by the rules to appear on the label or labelling is not prominently placed with such conspicuousness (as compared with other words, statements, designs, or devices on the label or labelling) and in such terms as may render it likely to be read 'and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use; or
(iii) which is not labelled with such directions for use and such warnings against use in indications where its use may be dangerous to health, or against unsafe dosage or duration of administration or application in such manner and form as are necessary for the protection of users or as may be prescribed; or
(iv) the label or container of which, or anything accompanying which, bears any statement, design or device which makes any false claim for the drug or which is false or misleading in any particular; or
(v) which is so coloured, coated, powdered or polished that damage is concealed, or which is made to appear of better or greater therapeutic value than it really is; or
(vi) which is manufactured according to the specifications of a particular pharmacopoeia or any other document as may be prescribed and the label does not bear the name of that pharmacopoeia or document;
(t) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules;
(u) "Provincial Quality Control Board" means a Board set up under Section 11;
(v) "Registration Board" means a Board set up under Section 7;
(w) "registered drug" means any drug registered under Section 7;
(x) "rules' means rules made under this Act;
(y) "Drug Court" means a Court established under Section 31;
(z) "specifications" when applied to a drug mean--
(i) such specifications as may be prescribed; or
(ii) when the specifications are not prescribed, the specifications as contained in the most recent edition of any of the following publications, namely:-

(1) the Pakistan Pharmacopoeia;
(2) the International Pharmacopoeia;
(3) the European Pharmacopoeia;
(4) the United States Pharmacopoeia;
(5) the British Pharmacopoeia;
(6) the British Pharmaceutical Codex;
(7) the United States National Formulary; and
(8) such other publication as may be prescribed:
Provided that, if the specifications do not appear in the most recent edition of any such publication, the specifications appearing in the next preceding edition of such publication in which the specifications appear shall apply; or

(iii) if no specifications are either prescribed or contained in any of the publications referred to in sub-clause (ii), the specification approved for the purpose of registration under this Act;

(z-a) "sell" means sell, offer for sale, expose for. sale, have in possession for sale and distribution and "to sell", "sold" or "sale" shall be construed accordingly;
(z-b) "spurious drug" means a drug--

(i) which purports to be a drug but does not contain the active ingredient of that drug; or
(ii) which purports to be the product of a manufacturer, place or country of whom or of which it is not truly a product; or
(iii) which is imported or exported or sold or offered or exposed for sale under a particular name while actually it is another drug; or
(iv) the label of which bears the name of an individual or company purporting to be its manufacturer or producer which individual or company is fictitious or does not exist;
(z-c) "storage" means storage for sale and "to store" or "stored" shall be construed accordingly; and
(zz) "sub-standard drug' means a drug which is not of specifications.

COMMENTS

Sub-clause (G)--Drug The definition of drug is comprehensive enough to take not only medicines but also substances intended to be used for or in the treatment of diseases of human beings or animals. This artificial definition introduces distinction between medicines and substances which are not medicines strictly so-called. The expression 'substances' or 'mixture of substances', therefore. is something other than medicines but which are used for the treatment of diseases of human beings or animals. The term 'drug' includes medicines for internal or external uses 1994 C L C 114. The Oxford Concise Dictionary defines drug as "original simple medicinal substance, organic or inorganic, used-alone or as in ingredient". The word as defined in this Act, has, however, a much wider connotation. As per definition of the word drug as defined in the Act any substance or mixture of substances used in the treatment, mitigation, prevention, or diagnosis of disease in human beings or animals, or the restoration, correction, or modification of the organic functions in human beings or animals, not being a substance exclusively used in accordance with the Ayurvedic, Unani, Homoeopathic or Biochemic system of treatment, abortive and contraceptive substances and devices, surgical ligatures, sutures, bandages absorbent cotton, disinfectants, adhesive plasters, gelatine capsules, antiseptic solutions, pesticides, any substance mentioned as monograph or as a preparation in the Pakistan Pharmacopoeia or International or British Pharmacopoeia or United States Pharmacopoeia or formulary, whether alone or in combination with any substance exclusively used in the Unani, Ayurvedic, Homoeopathic or Biochemic system of treatment, and such substance as the Federal Government may declare to be a drug for purposes of this Act shall be deemed to be a drug. It will thus appear that it is not only the drugs that are used in the cure, prevention, mitigation, etc., of a disease that fall within the definition but even such articles as are used in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or mitigation of diseases are covered within the term.

According to the case of The State v. Abdullah Sham/m, 1987 M L D 2160, any substance mentioned as monograph or preparation in British or Pakistan/Pharmacopoeia or National Formulary is included in the definition of "drug". Methyl Salicylate finds mention in National Formulary and British Pharmacopoeia. Certain preparations used in the manufacture of the Ayurvedic or Unani medicines are no doubt excluded but all such preparations are not excluded and such a question is purely of fact to be established by the evidence. Not only the manufacture and sale of drugs without licence and registration is punishable offence but even there counterfeiting is an offence. Where prima facie case was made out by the prosecution, the Trial Court, was not justified in throwing out case without recording evidence.

Any substance mentioned as a preparation in the Pakistan National Formulary, or Pakistan Pharmacopoeia for treatment, mitigation, prevention or diagnoses of disease being a drug would fall under the P.T.C. Hdg. 30.03. P L D 1992 SO 455.

Basic test report of drugs not in conformity with the provision of law: Such report was wholly without jurisdiction and incapable of being acted upon. Contention that another efficacious remedy being available to tile respondent by reverting to the Federal Test Laboratory, was nothing but to perpetuate the tyranny, thus, the same was repelled. No exception could be taken to the finding of 'the Single Judge of the High Court whereby Analyst's report was set aside; and the same was affirmed in appeal. 1992 M L D 481.

Counterfeiting drug: A drug so packed that its label or outerpacking imitates, or resembles or so nearly resembles as to deceive and cause it to be taken as the label or outer-packing of another manufacturer is a counterfeit drug. It is only the packing which is calculated to deceive and cause it to be taken as the manufacture of another manufacturer which is the essence of the definition. The quality of the drug has nothing to do with this definition.

If any substance or mixture of substances is exclusively used or prepared for use in accordance with the Ayurvedic, Unani, Homoeopathic or Biochemic system of treatment then (unless such substance is excepted in accordance with such conditions as may be prescribed) the same would not be included in the definition of "Drug" occurring in Section 3 (g) (i) of the Drugs Act. 990*M L D 1524.

Any isolated or synthesised substance mentioned as monograph or as a preparation appearing in the several publications referred on in Section 3(g)(v) of the Drugs Act would by itself constitute a drug and fall within the fold of the said definition clause irrespective of the fact whether the same is used alone or in combination with any other substance exclusively used in any of the four excepted systems of medicine in question. in the later case if intended to be used for any of the purposes mentioned in sub-clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of clause (g) of Section 3 of the Drugs Act. In such category word fall such isolated or synthesised active constituents as are covered in the publications referred to in Section 3(g) (v) of the Act, 1990 M L D 1524.

Word "medicament'--Meaning : Definition of the word "medicament" as given by the Drugs Act, 1976 would be relevant. P L D 1992 S C 455.

Adulterated drug: A drug which either in whole or in part consists of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance or which contains any foreign matter, vermin, worm, rodent, or insect, or which has been manufactured or packed or kept under unsanitary conditions rendering it likely to be contaminated with dirt, filth or any other foreign matter and making it likely to be injurious to health or whose container releases any poisonous or deleterious substance rendering the contents injurious to health, or which bears or contains as an ingredient a substance other than the prescribed substance or with which any substance has been mixed or packed so as to reduce its quality or strength or for which any substance has been wholly or partly substituted is an adulterated drug.

According to the case of Woodwards (Pakistan) Ltd. v. The State, 1985 P Or. L J 2064, the test report containing finding that sample was adulterated. Test report not found to be consistent with definition of the "adulterated drug". The test report not saying whether black particles found in test were of foreign matter. The report not saying that contents of sample were injurious to health or containing an ingredient or substance other than the prescribed substance. Negative remarks about standard of sample speaking only of physical appearance and not of the quality. Physical appearance of contents not mentioned in the definition. Number and size of particles found in sample not given. The report found useless for comparison with specifications. The report not made on prescribed form No. 6 and not fulfilling requirements of rule 16 of the Drugs (Federal Inspector, Federal Drug Laboratory and-Federal Government Analysts) Rules, 1976. Such test report, was not admissible in evidence.

Registered drug: A registered drug is one which has been registered according to the specified rules by the Registration Board set up by the Federal Government.

Sub-clause (r)--Manufacture : The term "manufacture" includes packing, finishing and labelling of a drug. Workers founding labelling and packing of unregistered drug, would amount to "manufacture" for the purposes of the Drugs Act. 1983 P Cr. L J 401.
Manufacture would include process of "packing".or "re-packing" of a drug. 1983 P Cr. L J 2491.

Sub-clause (s)--Misbranded drug: A drug which is not labelled in the prescribed manner is a misbranded drug. Similarly a drug on the label of which any word or statement is required by the Rules to appear but does not so appear or is not prominently placed with such conspicuousness and in such terms as may render it likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of or purchase and use or which is not labelled with the directions for use and such warnings against use in cases where its use may be dangerous or against unsafe dosage or duration of administration or application or whose label or anything accompanying it bears any statement, design or device which makes any false or misleading claim or which is so coloured, coated, powdered, or polished, or as to conceal damage, or which is made to appear of letter or greater therapeutic value than it really is or which does not bear the name of the pharmacopoeia or document according to whose specifications it is manufactured is a misbranded drug.

A drug would be deemed as misbranded when such drug is not labelled in the prescribed manner or labelling of which is against the Rules or misleading or which is camouflaged to conceal damage, etc., or on which the name of the pharmacopoeia under the specifications of which the drug is manufactured is not mentioned. P L D 1992 Kar. 347.

Sub-clause (zb)--Spurious drug: A drug which purports to be a drug but does not contain the active ingredient of that drug or which purports to be the manufacture of a person, place, or country whose product it is not in fact, or which is imported or exported or sold or exposed for sale under a name which actually it does not fall within that name, or where label bears fictitious name of manufacturer Qr producer is a spurious drug.

According to the case a of Salim Siddiqui v. The State, 1987 S C M R 2100, the petitioner tried for manufacturing spurious drug. Analysis/test not carded out by the concerned Gazetted Government Analyst. The report of the Analyst other than Gazerted Government Analyst was legally valueless and the complaint having no legal foundation. The accused acquitted of the charge.

The medicine recovered from the accused which he was selling at his shop purported to be the drug and which according to the Chemical Analyser's report contained only lactose and starch which meant that it had no active ingredient of the drug. Held, drug in question was deregistered and spurious drug in circumstances. P L D 1992 Quetta 67.

Sub-standard drug (zz): Sub-standard drug is a drug which does not conform to the specification or which is not of the identity, purity, and strength specified in Pharmacopoeia or other relevant documents.

Drugs manufactured by the respondents were declared by Analyst that the same although conformed to the stated specifications chemically; yet did not conform to the physical specifications being adulterated with particles and fibres. The High Court in Constitutional jurisdiction set aside Analyst's report, Held, to hold the samples as spurious or adulterated drugs. Analyst was required to have stated so, or to have declared the same as filthy, putrid or decomposed or to contain vermin, worm, rodent or insect or the same had been prepared under unsanitary conditions so as to be contaminated with dirt, filth or any foreign matter, whereby the same could have been rendered injurious to health. Definition of adulterated durg clearly laid down a test and a report which did not conform to provided by law could not be considered to be valid and legal report. Analyst's report in question, when considered within the meaning of the definition of spurious drugs, fell outside the category of that definition. Finding of the High Court in constitutional jurisdiction was confirmed in the intra-Court appeal in circumstances. 1992 M L D 481.

Strepsils: "Strepsils" manufactured by the petitioners was a medicament and being a drug was exempted from sales tax. Strepsils lozenges was in fact a medicinal preparation within the meaning of the Drugs Act, 1976 and that being so, it could not be termed as sugar confectionery and as such could not be charged for the purposes of sales tax. Ministry of Health had uniformly pointed out that the Strepsils lozenges were used as a remedy for treatment of infections of the mouth and throat and a valuable adjunct to the systematic treatment of tonsils and other deep throat infections. Levy of sales tax on such product would not be justified. Circulars issued for imposition of sales tax were declared to be without lawful authority, of no legal effect and were quashed. 1991 C L C Note 39, p. 27.


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