Locally Manufactured Injection Recalled After Causing Loss of Vision in Punjab
A locally manufactured injection that was marketed to treat conjunctivitis has been recalled from the market after allegedly causing loss of vision in Punjab. The Interim Health Minister, Dr. Nadeem Jan, announced on Sunday that a case has been registered against the suppliers of the injection.
According to Dr. Jan, around 20 people have suffered from blinding infections after taking the injection. The Punjab Health Department has sent a sample of the injection to the lab for testing, and the test report is expected to be available in two to three days. Reports of these eye infections have been received from Multan, Kasur, Lahore, and Sadiqabad.
To assess the situation and prevent similar incidents in the future, a five-member committee has been formed. The committee’s primary objectives include submitting a comprehensive report within three days and providing recommendations. Dr. Asad Aslam Khan from King Edward Medical University has been appointed as the committee’s convener, and other members include Director General Drugs Control Muhammad Sohail, Dr. Muhammad Moin from Mayo Hospital Lahore, Dr. Tayyaba from Lahore General Hospital, and Dr. Mohsin from Services Hospital.
Caretaker Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare, Dr. Jamal Nasir, informed the media that stocks of the infection-causing injection have been withheld and sealed. Drug inspectors across Punjab have been mobilized to halt the sale and purchase of the injection. Furthermore, a directive has been issued to doctors and patients advising them not to use the specific drug. Medical stores, wholesalers, and distributors have been prohibited from selling it, and the drug has been sent for laboratory testing.
In addition to the recall and preventive measures, a case has been registered at the Faisal Town Lahore Police Station based on the request of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). The case specifies that the conjunctivitis treatment injection was manufactured in Faisal Town and prepared in a private hospital laboratory. The police are conducting raids to apprehend the lab owners, Naveed Abdullah, and employee Bilal Rasheed. The FIR indicates that Bilal supplied the fake injections in violation of the DRAP and the Drug Act of 1976 and 2012. The accused were involved in manufacturing and stockpiling unlicensed drugs and selling unregistered injections.
Dr. Nasir mentioned that DRAP had immediately halted the distribution of the injection. He expressed his concern, stating, “These individuals were earning one lakh rupees on each injection. Their network extended beyond Lahore and Kasur, reaching Multan and Sadiqabad.”
The recall of the injection and the actions taken by the authorities demonstrate their commitment to ensuring public health and safety. It is crucial for the investigation to proceed swiftly and for strict measures to be implemented to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future.