Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bad medicine: Over 450 pharmacies selling spurious drugs in Lahore

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has identified more than 450 drug stores selling spurious drugs in the provincial capital, according to a report of the agency available with The Express Tribune.
The drugs include medicine manufactured by local and multinational pharmaceutical companies including life-saving drugs. Along with the FIA report, the names of the spurious drugs and the medical stores selling them have been shared with the provincial health authorities, including the Punjab health minister and the provincial health secretary, FIA Punjab Director Dr Usman Anwar said.
The Punjab chapter of the FIA had launched an operation in early April after several complaints were made about the sale of substandard medicine in Lahore. Over the last two weeks, the FIA identified and raided 10 establishments which engaged in the manufacture, bulk supply and distribution of spurious drugs to hundreds of drug stores in Lahore. The record confiscated at the 10 establishments jointly raided by the FIA personnel and drug inspectors of the Health Department included invoices documenting the sale of spurious drugs to more than 450 drug stores in Lahore. In random checks, the adulterated medicines supplied by the 10 establishments were recovered from the cited drug stores.
Pulling together
The schedule of offences that the FIA covers includes spurious drugs. However, the agency can only proceed against spurious drugs in coordination with the Health Department. Before initiating the crackdown, the FIA had held meetings with officials of the Health Department, the Quality Control Board, the drug testing laboratory and the pharmaceutical association, and requested their assistance. All four had agreed to support the action, according to FIA officials.
The FIA report said that the medicine found during raids included fake drugs in forged packing, unregistered drugs, drugs sold without manufacturer's warranty, expired medicine which had been repacked, drugs stolen from government or armed forces institutions, homeopathic or herbal products containing allopathic ingredients and drugs smuggled into Pakistan.
A taste of their own medicine
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