LAHORE: An emergency meeting of provincial health authorities on Tuesday rejected reports that there was any shortage of medicines commonly used during dengue and Covid-19 epidemics, devising a strategy to take action against profiteers and hoarders.

The meeting was called following reports of shortage of some medicines in the official stock and the local markets used during the dengue and Covid-19 epidemics.

Presided over by (now previous) provincial minister Khawaja Imran Nazir, the meeting declared that the situation was not as serious as being portrayed on social media.

Health Secretary Ali Jan, Director General Drugs Control Mohammad Sohail, Additional Secretary (technical) Dr Asim Altaf and other officials were present in the meeting.

The officials briefing the meeting claimed that presently over 380 million tablets of paracetamol were available in the the provincial health department’s stock, saying some elements were deliberately creating confusion on the issue.

Similarly, they said, the drug was also available in a huge quantity (over 30 million tablets) in the market of Lahore.

They stressed the need to create awareness among the public that people should insist on paying the officially-fixed retail price of the medicines and foil the attempts of the profiteering mafias behind the black market.

The officials also devised a strategy to take legal and departmental action against those trying to overcharge the buyers.

Paracetamol was one of the most selling drugs and its demand increased manifold during the dengue and Covid-19 epidemics in the country.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2022

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