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The cosmetics industry is no exception to the problem of fake products that exists in Pakistan. This has been an issue for years but some good news was finally to be had this year as the Drug (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was approved in Punjab which updates the Drugs Act, 1976 by including cosmetics in the legislation. Previously the Drugs Act, 1976 only specified drugs and was thus primarily applicable to medicine and health care products.
The stated aim of this amendment is as follows:
"... to combat the increasing menace of adulterated and substandard cosmetics, to ensure efficacy and standard of cosmetics, and for provision of quality cosmetics to the people..."
All very good and we believe this will provide legal grounds and empower authorities against those manufacturing and distributing counterfeit cosmetics in Punjab. So far it does not appear as though other Provincial Assemblies have followed suit and the law only appears to have been approved in Punjab.
This should hopefully reduce the availability of counterfeit cosmetics and skin care products available in the market. In fact on the 5th of December 2020, The Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) was reported to have seized products of 45 illegal brands in Punjab from various stores - not just of cosmetics but also other grocery items.
So it is not just a document but actually being enforced and we sincerely hope that this results in firstly and most importantly reducing cases of fake, adulterated, expired or substandard cosmetics being sold.
But also we hope that this inspires confidence among consumers that with legal avenues for counterfeit and substandard products to be dealt with, retailers will only have original and authentic products available for sale.
While not much reporting happens on the issue of skincare or cosmetics related health damage, we hope that this law will result in fewer people having to visit dermatologists and hospitals in relation to damage to their skin or suffering caused by the use of substandard or fake skincare and cosmetics.
We hope that this law gets introduced in other provinces as well and regulation of cosmetics, skincare and beauty products becomes a nationwide reality.