Shahbaz Sharif. - File Photo

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that reaction to suspected drugs has claimed lives of 100 cardiac patients at Punjab Institute of Cardiology so far, disputing his own health department’s death toll of 72 on Wednesday. Although the chief minister publicly revealed the death of 100 patients, the health department confirmed only 72 deaths on Wednesday, showing a wide gap in casualty figures between the two top authorities of the province.

Talking to journalists during a visit to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Mr Shahbaz Sharif held the federal government responsible for the fresh health crisis.

Mr Sharif contended that registration of drugs, their pricing and licensing mechanism were being controlled by the federal government even after the enactment of the 18th Amendment.

“The drug regulatory authority is still a federal government subject even after the adoption of the 18th Amendment,” he said.

In reply to a question, Shahbaz Sharif said that the chief minister’s inspection team was investigating the drug reaction scandal.

He said that some 100 poor patients had lost their lives because of the reaction to suspected drugs and the government had dispatched samples of these medicines to France and England for laboratory analysis.

He claimed that action would be taken against those found guilty on the basis of laboratory reports and nobody would be spared.

He said that members of provincial assemblies were visiting public hospitals of the city to ensure better treatment of patients and they were also giving financial help to patients affected by the crisis.

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