Sale of spurious drugs on the rise

Lack of medical staff in Health Dept leading to failure to check sale of fake medicines, unlicensed stores.

Rustam Satti December 02, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Lack of medical staff in the Health Department of the district administration has lead to a failure in keeping a check over the sale of spurious drugs.  This has resulted in abundance of expired medicines and unlicensed medical stores in the federal capital, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Officials of the department said that there was only one drug inspector for the population of 1.6 million residents of the capital city.

They said that despite several recommendations by the district administration to increase the number of drug inspectors to at least three, no action was being taken in this regard. They also informed that the city lacked an effective system to control the mafia as it was not possible for the one drug inspector to check and monitor the medical markets in urban as well as rural areas of the district.

The officials further informed that 15 illegal medical stores were sealed and 13 shopkeepers were issued chalans of Rs800,000 for selling expired medicines during the first eleven months of this year.

The residents of Islamabad while talking to The Express Tribune said that sale of expired and substandard quality medicines was on the rise but the authorities were not taking effective action against them.

They demanded of the administration to take strict legal actions against all those found guilty. “Increase the number of drug inspectors so that the department could control the drug mafia effectively. This is a serious issue which needs immediate attention,” said an official from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2010.

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