Substandard medicines: Prosecution in fake drugs cases soon

Senate informed that govt will prosecute offenders in 43 cases of spurious drugs.

Maha Mussadaq May 05, 2011


Federal Minster for Health Anwar Ali Cheema informed the Senate that the government will prosecute offenders in 43 cases of spurious drugs out of the 58 registered by the Federal Inspector of Drugs during the last three years.

The government has taken several steps to curb the sale of substandard and spurious medicines in Pakistan, stated Cheema in a written reply for the Senate Question Hour on Wednesday. The minister informed the Senate that extensive surveys of pharmaceutical units and markets are carried out regularly. Interprovincial coordination has been strengthened to effectively monitor drug quality in factories and retail outlets. Steps have been taken to enhance the capacity of drug-testing laboratories in terms of equipment and trained manpower in recent years. Technically skilled personnel have been inducted in the Drug Control Organisation set-up in the Federal Ministry of Health.

The ministry has also taken action against illegal advertisements for drugs and miracle cures to protect the public. The police and the Federal Investigation Agency are tracking down offenders to stop the sale of spurious drugs. Moreover, drug courts have been instructed to expedite the disposal of cases of spurious drugs. Of the 58 cases of spurious drugs registered, two were referred for reinvestigation, one was cancelled and 12 cases are still under process.

Equivalence of degree

In a written reply to a question, Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali stated that a degree in Bachelor of Technology is not recognised as equivalent to a Bachelor of Engineering degree under the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Act 1968. The definitions of the two streams are quite different and hence cannot be stated to be equivalent.

He said that both the PEC and the Higher Education Commission are of the view that engineering and technology programmes are distinct in nature and have separate academic objectives, curriculum and scheme of study. One is more inclined towards hands-on-practice, required in industry for applied nature of work while the other  is focused on developing initiative for innovation and competency to resolve day-to-day practical problems or issues.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2011.


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