Karachi: Right under the noses of the Health Department Sindh and associated Drug Inspectors, a large number of illegal, unauthorized medical stores are operating in different parts of the city and the number steadily continues to rise each day.
On condition of anonymity, an official of the Health Department Sindh confirmed that a vast number of illegal drug stores are currently operating in different areas of Karachi without official licenses due to the negligence and ignorant attitude of the Health Department Sindh and other drug inspectors. He further added that these illegal medical stores stock and sell inferior quality, at times expired drugs to patients and under-qualified hospital staff members. This continues to pose grave threat to the health and well being of all people who consume these medicines.
He stated that majority of these unauthorized drug stores are situated in the suburbs of Karachi, and that there is an acute shortage of drug inspectors willing to monitor, regulate and control illegal drug supply activities. He also revealed that some of these stores are operating in nexus with government officials and existing drug inspectors, which is a shameful fact indeed.
Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad, Central Leader of the Pakistan Medical Association stated that the government has failed to introduce or implement proper regulations and mechanism to effectively monitor medical stores across the city/country. He added that drugstores must only be run by and under the supervision of qualified, registered pharmacists and unauthorized personnel must be banned from toying with peoples’ lives.
Qaisar Muhammad, Chief Drug Inspector confirmed that there is an acute shortage of staff and the existing officials are facing resistance in certain areas of Karachi. President of the Wholesale Chemist Council of Pakistan said that the Council strongly opposes all illegal drug stores operating in the city, and urged the Government as well as concerned authorities to take immediate, strict measures against the owners of these stores.