Pakistan’s solitary opium production factory, the Lahore Government Opium Alkaloid Factory, which has been inactive for 11 years, is now operational. It was closed in 2012 due to a variety of issues, including inadequate enforcement measures and irregularities in opium tablet distribution. The factory’s restart is estimated to save $400 to $500 million in foreign exchange once it runs smoothly.
Since opium is not legally available, herbal pharmacies have turned to less effective synthetic alternatives. The Government Opium Alkaloid Factory is set to address this problem by supplying medicinal opium powder to licensed pharmaceutical companies and herbal centers.
It also provides opium to individuals with addiction problems based on prescriptions from registered doctors in Punjab.
The Punjab government issued orders to restore the factory earlier this year, making it the largest opium manufacturing facility in South Asia. The Narcotics Control Agencies of the provinces were directed to provide the factory with the first batch of 640 kg of opium several months ago. The factory is supplying A-category opium to pharmaceutical companies at a rate of 40 thousand rupees per kg.