In a concerning development, cases of vision impairment attributed to substandard injections have surfaced not only in Lahore but also in other cities of Punjab. Separate instances of counterfeit injection sales have been reported in Lahore, Kasur, Multan, and Sadiqabad, as disclosed by Punjab’s caretaker Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare, Nasir Jamal. Authorities are currently gathering data on those involved in distributing these fake injections across various cities in the province. However, no arrests have been made regarding the network responsible for the counterfeit injections.
Additionally, a list of individuals affected by these fake injections is being compiled. Interim Federal Health Minister Nadeem Jan has reported that an investigation is underway, with a committee of five experts formed to determine the root causes of the vision impairment cases. The committee will thoroughly analyze the situation, including the quality of the medicine, the competence of healthcare providers, and the sterilization of medical equipment. The inquiry process is expected to take around two to three days.
Following these incidents, the Punjab Health Department established a committee, led by ophthalmologist Dr. Asad Aslam, to conduct a detailed probe. The revelation of vision impairment occurred after PPP leader Chaudhry Manzoor shared that his brother and a friend experienced eyesight issues after receiving these injections. Upon admission to a Lahore hospital, it was discovered that 18 other patients had a similar condition.
Notably, the entire batch of the implicated medicine has been removed from the market, and a First Information Report (FIR) has been filed against two suppliers. Legal actions have been initiated against Naveed Akbar, one of the suspects, under various sections of the Drugs Act 1976 and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Act, 2012.
The federal minister assured that the affected individuals would receive compensation and top-quality medical care, while the perpetrators would face appropriate consequences. In addition, Punjab’s caretaker Minister Nasir Jamal stated that a sample of the counterfeit injection has been sent to the Punjab Health Department’s laboratory. Although the exact number of affected individuals is yet to be determined, between 14 to 20 cases have been identified so far. It’s worth noting that this particular drug has been in use for an extended period, with a significant profit margin, and was manufactured by a multinational company. The injection was reportedly being sold for a staggering Rs100,000.
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