The Ministry of Health in Pakistan has initiated a widespread crackdown against the illegal profiteering of drugs and distribution of fake, unregistered medicines across the country.
The action follows directives from the caretaker federal Minister for Health, Dr Nadeem Jan. A spokesperson from the Ministry confirmed the commencement of this operation on Sunday, indicating a rigorous approach to tackling this issue.
Distributors, pharmacies, and medical stores are being targeted in raids across major cities to enforce regulations and curb illegal activities. Specific operations have been conducted in Karachi, where Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) teams inspected various pharmacies and medical stores in DHA, Gulshan Iqbal, and Gulistan Johar.
Notable incidents include the raid on Irfan Medicos in DHA, where it was discovered that Heparin injections were being sold at Rs 3500, significantly higher than the approved price of Rs 800. Other medications such as Tramal Injection, Augmentin DS Suspension, Hydraline Syrup, Ventolin Inhaler, Tegeral tablets, and Augmentin DS were also found to be overpriced. The offending medicines were seized, and the establishments sealed.
Legal Actions and Ministerial Response
In response to these findings, the Health Minister has initiated legal proceedings against the owners of these pharmacies under the DRAP Act. Emphasizing the seriousness of this issue, the minister vowed to take strict action against those exploiting the public, reinforcing the principle that no individual is above the law.
Following his appointment, Dr Nadeem Jan issued instructions to DRAP, underlining the commitment to ensuring the availability of quality medicines in the country. This crackdown is a key step in the government’s efforts to safeguard public health and uphold legal and ethical standards in the pharmaceutical sector.