After reports in media of at least over 60 deaths allegedly caused by the use of medicines of patients registered with Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore, the public here in twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi has also been caught up in fear.
According to law enforcement agencies, the medicines, five in all, may affect over 46,000 cases across the country. However, the provincial health department has provided addresses of the patients registered with the PIC to all district health departments of the province asking them to retrieve medicines from the patients in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
The incident has created panic among public particularly the patients with heart related problems, said a salesman working on a renowned chemist shop in Saddar area. Pleading anonymity, he expressed to ‘The News’ that the incident has not been investigated fully as yet, “however, the chemists and druggists in town have stopped selling the five medicines namely Cardiovastin, Solpril, Zafnol, Corcont and Isopab.”
District health department, on the other hand, claimed to have started taking necessary measures to check sale of the said medicines in town. “We have also started retrieving medicines from the patients belonging to town who are registered with the PIC,” said District Health Officer Dr Khalid Randhawa while talking to ‘The News’ on Tuesday.
He added that the provincial health department has provided names and addresses of as many as 53 patients of Rawalpindi district to the district health department whom the PIC has provided the said five medicines. “Till today evening, we would retrieve medicines from all the patients,” said Dr Randhawa Tuesday afternoon.
He claimed that so far, no patient belonging to town has developed any complications by the use of medicines. “The situation in town is completely under control,” he added.
To a query, he said that the health department has already, on Monday, held a meeting with the representatives of druggists and chemists operating in town and informed them of the alleged reaction of the medicines. “In compliance with the directives issued by the provincial health department, we have asked the chemists and druggists to stop sale of the said medicines till any further order on the subject,” said Dr Randhawa.
A number of citizens, however, term the incident a conspiracy against local pharmaceutical industry and demand the government to probe the matter by keeping in mind all the aspects on the subject. It is important that all the five medicines are products of local pharmaceutical companies.
Dr Randhawa, when asked said he is unable to say anything on the subject till finalisation of the investigations. “We are taking preventive measures only and any policy decision on the subject would be taken by the provincial health department,” he said while responding to a query.
He, however, added that the public needs not to be caught up in fear as the government has already taken notice of the issue and every possible measure is being taken to avoid any untoward incident.
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