Duped by drugs: Pharmaceutical company in DHA sealed for producing counterfeit drugs

Published: July 28, 2011

" We can’t take risks when it comes to medicines. We are thankful to the vice chancellor for taking the necessary steps," Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases Director Dr Iftikhar Ahmad.

KARACHI: 

A counterfeit pharmaceutical company was sealed by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and Defence police on Monday night.

Drugs worths Rs20 million have been confiscated. According to Defence SHO Raja Mushtaq twelve people were arrested but ten of them were subsequently released. Only the owners of the company, Aftab Jafri and Yahya Jafri, are still in custody.

Century Pharmaceuticals Private Limited was allegedly producing the counterfeit drug Cycloserine which was sold under the brand name of ‘Closerin’. The drug was said to be an antibiotic for the treatment of tuberculosis.

“We received information through a source that this drug is completely bogus,” explained Dr Iftikhar Ahmad, who is the director of the Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases (OICD), which comes under the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS).  According to Dr Ahmed, the case was forwarded to DUHS Vice Chancellor Dr Masood Hameed. He ordered testing for the samples received directly by the OICD and the samples picked up through other medical stores. Dr Hameed brought up the issue with the home minister as well, who instructed the law enforcement agencies to seal the facility.

“We can’t take any risks when it comes to medicines. Someone has to take a stand and we are thankful that the vice chancellor took the necessary steps,” said Dr Ahmed.

According to a source, the OICD had granted the tender for Cycloserine to Century Pharma three years ago, and recently the institute had stocked up the drug for three months after paying Century Pharma Rs3.2 million.

According to a CPLC official, Raza Ali, the company has been supplying the fake drug not only to the OICD but also to other hospitals in Karachi, including Civil hospital. The manufacturing company’s FDA licence to produce this drug expired in January 2011. The pharmaceutical company was located in DHA’s Phase I.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Syed Taha Ghayas
    Jul 28, 2011 - 11:58PM

    The crime committed by Aftab Jafri & Yahya Jafri is so misanthropic, that in my view, they should be hanged till death. According to a report, thousands of TB patients died last year, mainly due to the fact (that now we have come to know) that the most vital drug was fake.

    If we won’t take stand this time, and not hang these inhuman criminals, there will be born many more, who will prove to be more dangerous than suicide bombers.

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  • Dr. Sana Mahmood
    Jul 29, 2011 - 12:01PM

    Tuberculosis is regarded as the national disease of Pakistan. With such criminal pharmaceutical companies existing in the country that are manufacturing and distributing fake drugs and selling them as imported medicines ( to gain high prices), we can never be able to achieve a tuberculosis-free Pakistan. Such criminals should be publically punnished with harsh penalties so that other companies conducting such activities may gain lesson and stop playing with the lives of innocent people who are spending their hard-earned money to bear the costs of their treatment.

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  • syeda
    Jul 30, 2011 - 12:45AM

    one very important thing to understand is that what happened to the fact the one is inocent until proven guilty, thid is applaied to rapest and also murederes… Till date we are unaware of the truth of this matter as the matter is still under investigation. Surely providing make medicene is a serious crime, but before posting such harsh comments we must make sure that these people are to blame or have someone framed them…. before judging one must find out the facts not just pass comments on one article or a m,edia chatpatti news

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  • Dr.Aslam Shah
    Aug 5, 2011 - 4:05PM

    Eevery drug is a life saving, but some disease like MDR-TB which is more dangerous than HIV AIDS if not treated properly, & Cycloserin is one of the drug that necessary for MDR-TB treatment. The Multi drug resistant TB needs multiple drugs for at least two years, & one can assume if instead of drugs giving placebo/ counterfit drugs, what will be happened/?. In my openion it is a big crime, & the related drug regulatory concerned peoples are equallly responsible for this, so impartial detail investigation needed & story should published publically & to punish the culprits according to the Law.

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