PAKISTAN is a country where people lose their lives as a result of criminal negligence by the government and its machinery who can often be inefficient and lethargic enough to play their due role in protecting public lives and property.
Deadly incidents are being reported increasingly in the last few days in which people died of after consuming medicines prescribed by doctors. This happened due to toxic elements being blended in the medicines but there is no such government authority or agency which performs its role to control the spread of counterfeit and toxic medicines in the market.
The recent incident in Punjab in which 50 died after consuming cough syrup Tyno has posed a question mark on the efficiency of the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA), responsible for supervising all operations by drug producers and dealers in the country.
But, apparently, it has never played its role of supervising the operations of drug producers and dealers in the country that cost lives of people. The people sitting in the authority are also equally responsible as they are the ones who allow traders to import such chemicals to prepare toxic medicines which are harmful for patients.
The World Health Organisation has reportedly found toxic ‘levomethorphan’ in the raw material used in cough syrups.
According to its finding, the raw material used in cough syrups Tyno and Dextromethorphan includes 22 per cent and 11 per cent ‘lethal’ levomethorphan content, respectively. If cough syrups have been prepared with toxic elements, then there are definite possibilities that more medicines contain such poisonous elements that cost lives of many innocence people in different parts of the country.
The government and the judiciary should take prompt action to stop the spread of toxic medicines in the local market and appoint honest and professional officials in the DRA that perform their duties efficiently in businesses of a sensitive nature.
The government should empower DRA and take all stakeholders, including drug manufacturers and importers of medicines, on board to avoid such deadly incidents in the country.
ABU BAKAR Karachi