Friday, February 23, 2024

Life Saving Drugs Scandal of Lahore


Update: 137 people have died due to fake drugs in Lahore still now

Disasters keep coming upon the people of this nation, perhaps because we have super patience, or most probably the people of this national have become numb, they don’t react over whatever happens.

More than 400 people are still suffering from this drug reaction. Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) seems to be responsible for this disaster. The PIC has shifted the patients to other hospitals, probably in order to acquire low burden of death toll within the institute premises.

patients-suffer Dr. Javed Akram (Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal, Prof. and the head of investigation team) said that the Chief Minister has changed medicine purchase protocol. He said post mortem of every victim would be conducted. “We have withdrawn the suspected drugs from 9,000 patients so far.” (Well that is huge number). He also said that, “The problem seems to be with just one batch of medicines provided to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology and that has been sealed”. He confirmed that the medicine had been bought by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) in December. The investigation team has asked the pharmaceutical companies about their record of the medicines, and about 24,000 to 25,000 patients have taken those substandard drugs from the government hospitals in Lahore.

MPA Khwaja Salman Rafiq said that the Punjab government will grant Rs. 500,000 as compensation to the family of each patient who died and Rs. 200,000 to those who were suffered and are under treatment. (Yeah, because the culprits responsible have already received double of this amount as a fee to bury down the matter).

people-protesting Some patients and their relatives protested outside the PIC building. The patients reveal that the PIC had given them only two kinds of medicines out of the combination of four to five different drugs which they had been taking earlier from the institute. They also said that the given medicines were for one week use only, while in the past, they had been taking a stock of one month at least, (This one week dose in comparison to one month dose appears to be access the numbers of death to occur).

Ironically, the drug which caused this whole turmoil was distributed by Punjab Institute of Cardiology (a government supervised public relief institute) “Free of Cost” to cardiac patients (Probably in order to test the immunity level of people against fake drugs).

This case has opened a new pandora box of government mismanagement of drug regulatory and sales procedures. Due to vast corruption in medical industry at government level, government has not yet openly disclosed the names of these medicines to public, while these free medicines are also sold at the counters of public drug stores. The medical stores themselves are party to fake medicines manufacturers. That is a different topic. This time this issue has been raised from within a government supervised institute.

The point to be noted is that these medicines are not just for casual periodical use. These are life saving medicines and are used by Cardiac Patients everyday, who are in huge numbers in Pakistan. These patients literally can not live without these medicines when they are in need to take prescription.

According to the resources, following are the names of the defective drugs; one of these is toxicant with unknown chemicals:

1. Solprin
2. Zafnol
3. Concont
4. Cardiovascin
5. Isotab

We as responsible citizens should ask our representatives to pursue the high official for starting up an investigation against this case. The case should be handed over to the FIA to probe the organizations responsible.


Update: President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed concern over the reports of deaths due to spurious drugs in Lahore and called for a report from the health ministry in this regard. — Hmm, thank God that finally the president has made some comments on this issue. One can wonder where was he since the beginning of this whole turmoil. Probably, he was an awful lot busy in parties and meetings with foreigners in the president house, or perhaps, he was waiting for the right time to comment; like pretend to show keen interest when the death toll reach to significant numbers.

The Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also made a statement about setting up a judicial commission to probe the issue. (Finally, he got some time from his defaming campaign against Shareef brothers).

The man who is in great trouble is the Punjab’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif; he has been the center of all the criticism from federal governments and from public. First he was stuck with Dengue, than Imran Khan and now drug scandal.

It seems that finally there has been some progress made regarding this issue, as the names of responsible companies and medicines have been announced by government publicly to avoid any further loss of lives.


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