Following reports of vision loss attributed to a flawed medical injection, the government ordered an immediate investigation to pinpoint responsibility and has since recalled the problematic medicine batch. Caretaker Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan confirmed in a press briefing that the locally-produced injection, intended to treat conjunctivitis, was linked to vision impairment cases in Punjab.
Assisted by Punjab Healthcare Minister Dr Jamal Nasir, Jan revealed that approximately 20 individuals lost their vision post-administration of the drug, with incidents reported from Multan, Kasur, Lahore, and Sadiqabad. A specialized committee tasked to evaluate the situation will present its findings in a few days.
Steps Toward Accountability and Prevention
A five-member committee spearheaded by Dr. Asad Aslam Khan from King Edward Medical University has been set up to address this crisis. The Punjab Health Department has dispatched the injection sample for lab examination, with results due in a few days. Dr Jamal Nasir further added that the sale of the said drug has been halted province-wide, and all associated stakeholders have been cautioned against its use.
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has initiated a formal complaint, indicating that a private lab in Faisal Town, Lahore, produced the injection. Presently, authorities are seeking the lab owner, Naveed Abdullah, and Bilal Rasheed, an employee, for their alleged involvement in the production and sale of unauthorized medicines. The matter is important, as initial news reports documented several patients suffering vision loss after receiving the injection in different hospitals.