Sale of spurious drugs on the rise in capital

Sale of spurious drugs on  the rise in capital

ISLAMABAD: A number of unregistered medical and herbal stores in federal capital continue to sell unregistered and spurious drugs.
According to medical experts, unregistered drugs can cause various disease related to heart, kidney and liver, besides other serious health implications.
The illegal drugs/medicines and other dangerous types of steroids are available in certain stores across the capital, the residents complained.
“Like many other evils, fake medicine business is also controlled by a mafia,” a local resident added.
Capital Development Authority (CDA) Health Directorate Director Dr Hassan Arooj told APP that spurious drugs can cause heart, kidney and liver failure.
Islamabad Health Department Drug Inspector Sardar Shabbir Ahmed said that in recent raids on medical stores, five cases were registered on finding unregistered medicines in the stores.
“I have ordered stern action against the culprits,” he said.
Sardar further said that the district health office had launched a drive against quacks and sellers of spurious medicines.
He said that special teams had been constituted and officials from the district health office were being assigned the task of conducting checking of medical stores and centres in various jurisdictions.
Shabbir said they had also been directed to seal medical stores and confiscate unregistered medicines in case any chemist was found involved in selling spurious medicines.
He said the drive would continue to ensure quality medicines were being sold at medical stores.
When contacted, some owners of local medical stores brushed off the allegations of selling any expired or substandard medicine.
They said they had been abiding by the relevant laws and fulfilling the requirements of health laws.
Meanwhile, certain private hospitals operating in the twin cities are apparently fleecing patients through different hidden charges and unnecessary medical treatments in the name of providing quality services.
The minimum consultation fee or examination fee for different types of treatments at private hospitals ranges from Rs 800 to Rs 1,000, which is very high as compared to the nominal charges at government hospitals. 
“Private hospitals charge too much in the name of providing quality treatment to the patients,” Ali Raza, a visitor at a private hospital, told APP.
Untrained paramedics appointed by the private hospitals’ management provide treatment to the patients on an experimental basis, posing risk to their lives, he alleged.
According to a survey, the minimum room charges at private hospitals are around Rs 10,000, and that of VIP rooms are more than Rs 20,000. 
Similarly, patients at the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are also heavily charged.
Dialysis and other tests are becoming simply unaffordable for people belonging to the middle class and even the upper-middle class.
Most government hospitals in Islamabad are crowded with the patients, leaving no other option for citizens but to move to private hospitals for treatment.
“It is a fact that private hospitals are earning hefty amounts through providing expensive medical facilities to the patients and the quality of services is not matched with the charges,” said an official of a hospital. 
Muhammad Asim Raza, a patient, told APP that when he was charged heavily by one of the leading private hospitals for the treatment of asthma. He said he asked the administration to provide the details of his bills, which revealed that he was charged even for very small and cheaper items like tissue papers, bandages and drinking water.
The patients and the officials have urged the government to take notice of the discrimination and violation of laws and health standards being done at these hospitals. 

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