Reactivation of this facility could save country $400 to $500 million.
Revival is crucial as opium, with its myriad medicinal uses, is not legally accessible.
It provides opium to addicts under prescription of registered doctors.
LAHORE: After remaining shut for 11 years, Pakistan’s sole opium manufacturing facility in Lahore is set to restart operations from Thursday (today), The News reported.
Lahore’s Government Opium Alkaloid Factory, originally established in 1942, was shut down in 2012 due to various issues, including irregularities in the distribution of opium tablets to patients and a lack of proper enforcement.
Sources said the reactivation of this facility is expected to yield significant benefits, potentially saving the country $400 to $500 million in foreign exchange.
This revival is crucial as opium, with its myriad medicinal uses, is not legally accessible. In its absence, herbal pharmacies are resorting to synthetic alternatives that are significantly less effective than opium.
The Government Opium Alkaloid Factory is a unique state-owned establishment with a primary mission to supply medicinal opium powder to licenced pharmaceutical companies and herbal centres nationwide.
Additionally, it provides opium to addicts under the prescription of registered doctors in the Punjab region.
To oversee the reactivation of the Vermint Opium Alkaloid Factory, a high-level committee has been formed under Punjab Excise Additional Director-General Mian Ahmad Saeed with Excise Director Rizwan Akram Sherwani, Muhammad Asif and Deputy Director Hafiz Zia Mustafa as members.