The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has directed the health department to launch a clean-up operation against poor quality drugs being sold in Peshawar.
A PHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Qaisar Rashid also ordered to book those found guilty. The bench further said the drug act should be tabled for amendment before the provincial assembly within three months.
“Those playing with the lives of innocent people should be strictly punished,” said CJ Khan, while hearing a suo motu notice taken on reports submitted by the Human Rights Directorate (HRD) on substandard drugs being sold in and around the provincial capital.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Director General Health Dr Muhammad Zafar informed the bench there was a shortage of drug inspectors in the province. He added help from secret agencies and police personnel was needed to curb the criminal activity.
The bench said the budget for the health department should be increased and the department should have its separate intelligence force. Drug inspectors are bribed and don’t bring the culprits to justice, it added.
The health department said it would take around two months to rid the provincial capital of spurious drugs. The court, however, gave the department 45 days to complete the operation.
The court expressed its dissatisfaction over a report submitted by the K-P chief secretary on the availability and quality of hepatitis C vaccines. The PHC issued orders to have all vaccines tested by a well-reputed laboratory and further directed the government to contact donor agencies for fresh supplies if the medication was found to be substandard.
The report gave details on the available stock of vaccines. It stated the current stock could meet requirements for another two months and on July 17 a tender for fresh supplies would be held.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.
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