Shahbaz vows to continue crackdown on spurious medicines

LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said crackdown would be continued against factories manufacturing spurious, substandard and unlicensed medicines.

He was addressing a meeting through video link in Civil Secretariat on Friday. The meeting reviewed pace of campaign against elements involved in production and sale of spurious, sub-standard medicines while a strategy was also discussed for complete eradication of this heinous business.

The chief minister said Punjab would be purged of spurious medicines and elements playing with human lives will be put behind bars. He said factories would be sealed at any cost and elements involved in this evil trade deserve no leniency.

He said the government had made amendments in Drug Act-1976 and an ordinance had been issued in this regard under which punishment for those manufacturing spurious, substandard and unlicensed medicines had been enhanced to maximum imprisonment of ten years and a fine of Rs. 5 million.

The chief minister while giving approval to the setting up of the proposed Punjab Drug Authority said, this authority will be completely autonomous. He directed concerned authorities that the final draft of the authority and its organizational structure should be presented to him within 14 days.

He said four taskforces had been constituted in the province for elimination of spurious and substandard medicines and these taskforces should continue action against elements involved in this heinous business.

The chief minister directed that inspection of the units of licensed drug manufacturers should be conducted and third- party audit should also be carried out while indiscriminate action should be taken against those involved in the illegal business of manufacturing of medicines without license.

The chief minister expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of Provincial Quality Control Board and directed to take measures immediately for its improvement. He said, a foolproof mechanism be evolved for sending samples of the medicines abroad for checking till the outsourcing of the system of drug testing labs.

Source: APP