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Monday, February 13, 2012

LHC seeks reply from Punjab govt. on medicine purchase policy

Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Lahore High Court (LHC), while hearing petitions against deaths from spurious drugs provided by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) on Monday, directed the provincial government to inform until February 22 about the steps it was taking to change its policy concerning purchase of medicines.
Condemning the deaths from fake drugs, the judge observed, “The court being the guardian of basic human rights would not let anyone play with the lives of the masses.”
He also ordered the investigation team probing into the PIC issue to submit a report until the next hearing, informing the court about those responsible for sale of substandard drugs.
Meanwhile, the Punjab health secretary submitted a detailed report regarding
current statistics of patients suffering from medicines’ reaction, admitted to different hospitals across the city.
According to the report, a total of 929 patients were admitted to different hospitals of the province from December 23, 2011 to February 11. Out of these, 707 patients were discharged after recovery, while 103 patients were still under treatment, the report said.
Replying to a query about payment of Rs 500,000 to each victim’s family, the additional advocate general assured that the Punjab government would provide compensation to the bereaved families before the next hearing.
Earlier, Additional Inspector General Zulfiqar Hameed informed the court about some irregularities on part of the PIC, unearthed during investigation. “The hospital’s priority is not to buy quality medicines but to purchase those that are the cheapest,” he said, adding that a tablet available in market for Rs 20 had been purchased by the PIC at Rs 0.75.
A petition in this regard had been filed by Judicial Activism Panel (JAP) Chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique. staff report


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