FIA, Punjab government to investigate fake medicines case: Malik

Lahore High Court issues notices to Secretary Health, DG FIA and Inspector General Punjab.


Our Correspondent January 26, 2012

ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Punjab Government would jointly investigate the fake drugs case, which have claimed lives of several innocent people in Punjab, the Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday.  

Malik said that six pharmaceutical companies were allegedly involved in the spurious drugs case, out of which CEOs of three of hte companies namely Muhammad Waseem Chaudhry, Chaudhry Nadir Khan and Dr Muhammad Tahir Azam had been arrested.

The interior minister added that FIA Lahore Drug Inspectors conducted raids on three pharmaceutical companies including Pharma Wise Laboratories, Al Falah Pharma (Pvt) and Mega Pharmaceutical Limited in Lahore and seized drugs Alfagril, Solprin and Carovatin from their stores.

Malik informed that all relevant record pertaining to procurement of raw material used in manufacturing of the drugs was also taken in possession and was being analysed.

“Al Falah purchased inactive raw material from local market but failed to produce any evidence regarding the procurement,” Malik added.

“The Drug Formulation Licence of the company had expired in April 2011 and the company had failed to provide any validation of its licence,” Malik further revealed

He said preliminary investigations had disclosed that Pharma Wise was procuring the active and inactive raw material from local market against the Drug Act.

“But the company is unable to provide particulars of manufacturers of the raw material and its specification along with a drug analysis report,” Malik said.

He further said that the third company Mega Pharmaceutical was also involved in purchasing inactive raw material from local market against the law.

The minister said these companies had supplied the alleged spurious drugs to Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), which paid their bills after receiving test reports from Drug Testing Laboratory, Lahore, adding “the relevant testing reports have been requisitioned from the laboratory.”

He said the samples of spurious drugs have been sent to the Central Drug Testing Laboratory Karachi for independent reports through Federal Drug Inspectors.

Malik said that post-mortem of one of the victims of the fake drugs could be done, if required.

Petition in LHC

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday issued notices to Secretary Health Punjab, DG FIA and Inspector General Punjab police for January 30, in a petition seeking judicial inquiry into the deaths of cardiac patients due to the use of adulterated medicines provided by PIC.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique, the petitioner, stated in his petition that many patients had died and others were in critical condition after consuming contaminated medicines.

He stated that it was a case of sheer negligence on the part of the PIC administration, for which they should be held accountable.

Siddique stated that the federal and provincial health departments had failed to take action against the responsible persons.

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