KARACHI  - American Business Council has said that pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are facing an out-of-stock situation for over 800 psychotropic drugs due to delay in quota allocation and if the matter is not resolved with urgency it will have a potential negative impact on US investments as well as on the lives of many Pakistani patients.American Business Council, the largest single-country business chamber representing over 65 US companies operating in Pakistan, in its letter to the federal government said that the issue of quota allocation is also seriously effecting operations of its three member companies namely Pfizer Pakistan, Abbot Laboratories and Johnson and Johnson.The ABC said that pharmaceutical companies are facing an out-of-stock situation for over 800 drugs such as anxiolytics, psycholytic, cold and cough, syrups, anti-anxiety, anti-depression and epileptic medicines.Experts believe that vacuum created by the absence of these drugs cannot be filled by alternative options keeping millions of patients from their treatment. “There is an urgent need to release quota allocations for the raw materials of these products to avoid serious implications”, they added.The developing country like Pakistan, where one percent of the population suffers from severe and 10 percent from mild mental disorders and the social issues of depression and anxiety are manifold. The prevalence of depression in the general population in Pakistan has been reported to be from 10-25 percent in males and 25-66 percent n females and the total population suffering is 60 percent depression, 14.5 percent schizophrenia, 29 percent psychosomatic disorders. If not treated properly, the tragic result of anxiety disorder can lead to suicides.The healthcare professional dealing with psychological issues agree that non-availability of psychotropic drugs may have consequences beyond control and may have an impact on suicide rates and cause other severe complications. This can significantly impact the fabric of society.The unavailability of high quality, safe and efficacious drugs will pave way for counterfeiters, black marketers and spurious drugs to flood the local market. This will endanger the lives of many patients putting at risk their health and treatments. A recent tragic example is of the Pakistan Institute of Cardiology (PIC) incident which claimed the lives of more than a hundred patients. This happened due to low safety profile medicines.The ABC said that the shortage will also give rise to serious economic implications for the country in terms of lower tax collection and negative foreign direct investment (FDI). The international community is monitoring the current situation very closely to evaluate the policies and protection extended by the government to foreign investors. In absence of any action by the authorities it is forecasted that the multiplier effect will further have a negative impact on the economy of Pakistan. The situation may lead to shut down of operation which will have a direct and indirect impact on employment in the pharma industry, a significant loss in exports, tax loss for the government, introduction of new life saving drugs will be compromised and impact future investment plans by the pharma industry.The American Business Council requested to release the quota allocations on an urgent basis to ensure a steady supply of medicines in the best interest of the patients.