A beacon of light shines for the burn survivors in Pakistan. As a team of Pakistani doctors, biologist and microbiologist succeeded in producing low-cost artificial skin. It is made with local chemicals and technology and this is how they kept the price low. The team of doctors claimed the locally produced synthetic skin is better than artificial skin exported from the USA. Also, this artificial skin can totally replace cosmetic testing on animals.
Pakistan, A poor country where an average man lives for under $2. Most burns survivors and acid attack victims are unable to get the basic medical help let alone the costly plastic surgery. Therefore, many live with burnt and scarred skin.
Now, with locally made artificial skin, most will get a chance to start a new chapter in their lives. As it costs only $10 per square inch, compared to the exported skin that cost a whopping $900 per square inch. The cost includes medication and procedures.
The University of Health Sciences has formally applied for registration, on its newly made artificial human skin from the Pakistan Drug Regulatory Authority. And they are soon to get approval.
“We have produced human skin,” said Doctor Jawed Akram, the team lead and VC of the research team said. “However, it takes time, as we lack facilities and equipment to produce it at an industrial scale.”
He further added, “We have signed an agreement with the representative body of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA).” According to the agreement, “A consortium of 20 large companies will manufacture the skin and related medications. We have made sure it will be available at a low cost. Also, companies will export it globally.”
In his statement, Mr Haseeb Khan, the representative of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association said that they don’t have any institution and machinery in Pakistan to produce artificial skin industrially, at the moment. But 20 large pharmaceutical companies have joined hands to bring machinery from Canada and Spain, to start manufacturing synthetic skin on an industrial scale.
He further added, that “Artificial human skin, the pupil of the human eye, cells of the kidneys and other biological medicines will be manufactured according to international standards,”
The artificial skin, hence produced can also prevent cosmetic testing on animals, as it provides a safer option to test cosmetic products.
To answer the question, when the industrial production will start. Mr Haseeb khan stated that although they don’t have a definite date, soon the commercial production of the skin and related medicine will commence. And the pharmaceutical industry will make sure to keep the minimum price.
In her statement, the provincial health minister, Doctor Yasmeen Rasheed called the invention of synthetic human skin, a landmark achievement for Pakistan.
But as Ikram said, “The work of a scientist is to invent things in the laboratory, but the real issue is to use these inventions to the benefit of patients.”
We hope and wish that a common Pakistani may benefit from these inventions.