Markets flooded with fake drugs as manufacturers halt production over price line

Counterfeiters have flooded markets with copies of lifesaving drugs after drugmakers halted production of several essential drugs due to pricing issues with authorities, local chemists said Friday and warned pharmacies and drugstore owners. drug companies to be wary of 19 life-saving and essential drugs, copies of which were being distributed across Pakistan.

Meanwhile, action against counterfeiters continued when a joint team of drug inspectors and Sindh police raided a compound in the Saudabad area of ​​Karachi on Friday where tablets counterfeits of an unregistered Indian medicine “Relief” were packaged and supplied to different areas of Karachi. as well as Thatta, Badin, Sujawal and neighboring areas, officials said.

“Upon a tip, we raided a compound in the Saudabad area of ​​Karachi where four people were busy packing relief tablets, which is an unregistered product of Indian origin. Counterfeit copies of unregistered Drug Relief were produced in the compound from where they were supplied to different towns in lower Sindh,” provincial drug inspector Shahid Abbasi told The News.

The official said that during the raid they found several bags of tablets inside the compound where they were packed in blister packs. He added that the unregistered drug is widely used by elderly men and women for immediate relief from pain and several other ailments.

“The formula of this medicine is very strange as it contains several painkillers and other salts and no such medicine is available in Pakistan. Because of its fast acting, many people prefer it, and counterfeiters are now manufacturing its local copies in Karachi and other cities in Sindh,” said Drug Inspector Abbasi.

He said one person, namely Ali Raza, was the owner of the compound, while three workers were busy packing the tablets in blister packs, adding that all four were arrested by police in the area. and convicted under the relevant laws.

“The police are investigating while we fulfill our legal obligations. We seized the samples and sent them to the lab for chemical analysis to determine what type of material was used to produce the counterfeit drugs.

Warning from chemists

In order to prevent people from buying falsified and counterfeit drugs, the Pakistani Chemists and Druggists Association (PCDA) released a list of 19 drugs, including life-saving antibiotics, painkillers and antipsychotics, which they feared could they are not genuine and their fake copies are spreading in the market.

“We have published a list of 19 drugs, including Meronem injections, some leading painkiller injections, antipsychotics like Alprazolam, drugs for the treatment of gastric problems and others, whose counterfeits have recently confiscated by drug inspectors in Punjab and Sindh,” a PCDA official told The News on Friday.

He said that since the pharmaceutical companies did not manufacture these drugs due to their conflict with the government over prices, the counterfeiters filled the void, but they flooded the market with fake drugs, which could prove extremely deadly. for patients.

He claimed that the mastermind of the fake drug trade in Pakistan was a person known as Najibullah, son of Rafiullah, a permanent resident of Zhob region in Balochistan, and was last found c was in the Jahanian region of Punjab.

“Various law enforcement agencies are trying to locate this person, who is the main figure behind falsified and counterfeit medicines in Pakistan,” the PCDA official said and urged people to cooperate with authorities to catch the drug. guilty.

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