Public heath: ‘Laboratories being upgraded to curb spurious drugs’

Health adviser says 600 FIRs registered against those dealing in spurious drugs


Our Correspondent April 07, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE:


Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique said on Thursday that concrete steps had been taken against the manufacture and sale of spurious and substandard medicines across the province.


He was speaking at the concluding session of an international workshop on quality medicines.

The Health Department had arranged the event in collaboration with the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA).

He said that Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif had formed several taskforces to deal with spurious drugs. He said that the teams had carried out an operation across the province and that 600 FIRs had been registered against the culprits.

The adviser said that drug-testing laboratories were being upgraded across the province for the purpose. He said that some amendments were being introduced to drug laws to enhance punishment for the culprits. He said that organising the workshop was also a step towards ending the unlawful trade.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Khwaja Imran Nazir said that the workshop was first of its kind in the country. He said that it was a good omen that the government, pharmaceutical industry and experts were on the same page on the issue.

Primary and Secondary Health Secretary Ali Jan Khan said that over the last three years billions of rupees had been spent on upgrading of drug-testing laboratories.

“Buildings and modern equipment is not sufficient. What is needed is an automation system so that the department does not have to wait for instructions to take steps related to public health,” Khan said.

He said that some pharmaceutical units produced medicines for government facilities only.

Earlier, State Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar said that pharmaceutical industry in the country had progressed a lot.

Tarar said that none of the licensed holding pharmaceutical unit was involved the manufacture of spurious drugs. However, she said, focus should be on production of quality medicines.

She praised the provincial government for holding the international workshop.

Primary and Secondary Health Secretary Ali Jan Khan said that over the last three years billions of rupees had been spent on upgrading of drug-testing laboratories.

Specialised Healthcare Secretary Najam Ahmed Shah, Lahore Commissioner Abdullah Khan Sumbal, John P Clark from the US, Tetsuya Ikeda from Japan, and various officers from the Health Department were present on the occasion.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th,  2016.

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