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Asim Munir

Spurious drugs sale
Despite preventive measures taken by the federal government and its relevant agencies for checking production and sale of spurious drugs, which are dangerous and fatal for the patients , the menace somehow persists though it may have declined to some extent at least as a result of punitive measures taken from time to time. It is very difficult for the patients and others buying medicines of their need from a medical store to differentiate easily between a genuine medicine or a spurious product. The evil mafia involved in the production of spurious drugs obviously have no concern for the health of their ailing brethren and sisters and are only interested in minting more and more money while spending less on production of spurious drugs. According to the reports in the newspapers, it is quite laudable to note that the federal cabinet in its meeting in Islamabad the other day under chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken an important decision, among various others, to introduce barcoding of medicines system to check sale of spurious drugs at the medical stores throughout the country to the customers including the patients who urgently need medicines. This is certainly a welcome move in the right direction as this will go a long way in checking, curbing and eliminating sale of spurious drugs to the patients at the medical stores. The barcoding system is going to be implemented in phased manner in about two and half years thus giving some time to the pharmaceutical companies to switch over to the new system and start coding their products in due course of time.Barcoding of medicines is entirely a new system for the patients and their relatives who usually buy medicines, as prescribed by the doctors, from the nearest medical store as quickly as possible. Since the new system is going to be introduced in a phased manner, it is suggested that the outlines of the system be publicized in the newspapers in Urdu and English languages and the same be displayed in big posters at all medical stores throughout the country prominently so that the people can become aware and familiar with it and thus be able to easily differentiate between a spurious and genuine medicine which they are buying from a medical store. Massive publicity will ensure that the new good system to check, curb, control and eliminate spurious drugs is used effectively and objectively for duly benefitting from its objectives.

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