ISLAMABAD - Crackdown against unregistered, spurious and fake medicines has been intensified on the directions of Minister for National Health Services, Saira Afzal Tarar.

On receipt of information, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan in collaboration with Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided one of the local industries in Kahuta industrial area Islamabad where unlawful drugs were being manufactured. When the raiding party arrived at the scene, they found that the premises were locked and a notice was sited at the gate showing the closure of factory for three days due to the death of father of one of the employees. The team asked the on duty guard to open the gate, which he refused to do so.

However, one of the team members got in and opened the gate. After the entry into the premises, the team found the factory operational and the manufacturing was going on.

It is disclosed, after the extensive deliberations and questioning, that the company has been manufacturing Sofasbuvir tablets (used for the treatment of hepatitis-C) without prior approval. It was further discovered that a drug named Everlong tablet—whose registration was withdrawn— was also being manufactured unlawfully and the stock have been sent to market for sale. It is interesting to mention that the drug has been packed with four different color scheme packing.

Viewing this, the obligatory legal action was taken under the provisions of The Drugs Act 1976.

According to Information, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has given permission to the federal drugs inspector to lodge a first information report against persons of the company including the top management of the company and production in charge.

A spokesman of the ministry said the minister for national health services has already announced zero tolerance policy for the manufacturing of unregistered/spurious drugs and factories have been sealed and action as per law is being taken without any discrimination. All the field officers of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan in the provinces have been asked to keep strict watch on the criminal trade of spurious drugs and take immediate and stern action under the law.