Proper vigilance for substandard medicines
IT was shocking to read that the members of the Sindh Assembly pointed out in a recent session that the supply of spurious and toxic medicines to government hospitals, dispensaries and health centres continues.
The provincial assembly also demanded that medicine supplies to government hospitals should be checked. However, there is no report that private hospitals and medical stores should be monitored whether drugs are patient-friendly and up to the proper health standards.
It is surprising to learn that there is apparently no authority which could check the quality of drugs. The media has reported time and again that many people have lost their lives owing to consumption of toxic medicines.
A layman relies on the doctors’ prescription and pharmacists but one cannot really find out the authenticity of the medicines.
Many patients do not have the knowledge to gauge the quality of medicines. They rely on either the doctor or the pharmacist for such information.
I urge government officials to perform their duties honestly and avoid playing with people’s lives. Healthcare is a serious issue and the quality of medicines must be ensured for the proper treatment of various diseases.
Judicial report on PIC
THE judicial report on the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore, is a wakeup call for the society in general and the government in particular. Such incidents could have occurred during the great wars; it may have been termed as disastrous for a nation or a cause of jubilation for the enemy. But what do we consider this particular situation as it happens in a democratic era.
The judicial report on the death of 213 patients and another 1,000 affected is a serious cause of concern. People have the right to know what our measures the government has taken to improve the health sector, the pharma industry and other medical facilities for the masses.
It is tragic that patients suffer due to non-availability of lifesaving drugs in the market.
And patients die either by poisonous cough syrups or by sub-standard low quality drugs.
Patients are unaware of their right to quality health and what concrete steps, including access to health facilities goods should be taken.
The Drug Regulatory Authority should ensure accessibility, availability, appropriateness and the quality of goods and services, which include over-the-counter medicines.
The DRA should also play its due role in propelling the pharma industry in the right direction as improved access, quality and use of medical products and technologies is the right of every citizen.
M. ZAMEER AHMED