THE provincial health departments and Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) are not playing their due role sufficiently, leaving masses at the mercy of substandard, fake and unhygienic drug producers who are playing with the lives of the people without any fear. There are no checks and quality control measures apparently in the country, as many substandard and toxic medicines are available at local medical stores which are being run by non-certified shopkeepers with no knowledge of hygienic medicines.

The government seems lacking in functionaries to regulate the healthcare and drug sector.

As a doctor, I prescribe medicines to my patients but I cannot check for substandard and toxic medicine unless I refer it to a medical laboratory. But I can neither do it at times when patients need urgent treatment nor it is my responsibility to perform such a duty.

I strongly appeal to the officials of DRA and provincial health department to pay heed towards toxic and spurious medicines being sold in markets. Also, the government should enforce a proper testing system at drug manufacturing companies and seal all illegal and substandard units forthwith in the interest of the masses.

The DRA and provincial health ministries should be empowered and have experts and professionals rather than bureaucrats with no knowledge of medicines and drugs.

I also urge the government departments to ensure high standard supply chain of medicines that maintain quality of drugs, from raw materials to finished medicines, so that maximum protection is ensured to medicine industry.

I suggest all multinational and local drug manufacturing companies to cooperate with the DRA and related health departments and point out those involved in production of toxic and spurious medicines.

These companies should run awareness campaigns in the media so that the confidence of doctors and patients could be restored in their medicines.

MUJEEB UR RAHMAN Islamabad

Updated Feb 20, 2013 08:05pm

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