LAHORE: Amendments to the Drugs Act are on the cards to enhance fine and punishment for those involved in production of spurious medicine, Chief Minister’s Task Force on Spurious and Substandard Medicines Khwaja Imran Nazir said on Monday.
After the amendment, he said if there was a death from consumption of a spurious medicine a murder case could be lodged against those involved in its production.
Nazir, also the parliamentary secretary for health, said that the task force had achieved many successes in recent months. He said raiding teams had sealed an illegal pharmaceutical manufacturing unit and confiscated spurious dorgesic injections and a huge quantity of raw material. He said these injections were widely used by addicts as tranquilisers. He said a team in Multan had confiscated spurious diazepam injections and huge quantities of another injection sold for treatment of snake venom. He said the unit had been sealed and FIRs lodged against the owners. He said the value of the confiscated material was about Rs50 million.
Nazir said all necessary steps were being taken to ensure availability of quality medicines in the market. He said a drug regime would soon be established under the reforms proposed for public health sector.
Nazir said he would ensure that all necessary facilities were available to the drugs inspectors for their operations.
He said that some pharmaceutical companies were supplying medicines only to the public sector. He said those operating illegally and supplying spurious and substandard medicines to the market would face the consequences very soon.
Nazir said a drugs regularity authority would also be set up at the provincial level. He said there was a need to expand the campaign against spurious and substandard drugs throughout the country.
He said that between January and July this year raids were carried out at 37,718 premises. He said 54,735 samples were collected and sent for laboratory examination. Of these, 437 were found to be substandard and 29 spurious, he said.
Nazir said 1,768 pharmacies were sealed and 158 FIRs lodged during the period. He said 172 cases were referred to the Provincial Quality Control Board and 3,397 to the District Quality Boards. He said in cases heard at the drug court from January to July Rs38.8 million fine was imposed on those found responsible for violations.
Health DG Mukhtar Hussain said 10 pharmaceutical companies had been blacklisted during the prequalification process. Their licences had been suspended by the Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2016.
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