LAHORE - The Punjab Health Department yesterday was ordered by the Drug Court to take action against bogus and fake medical stores and pharmacies being run on rented registrations.

The court expressed dismay over the failure of the health officials for not checking the credentials of those who were running medical stores and pharmacies and were selling out spurious and contaminated medicines to the citizens.

Drug Court comprising Chairman Ch Muhammad Jahangir and two members Dr Mubashar Ahmad Butt and Dr Farooq Bashir passed the order. The Court ordered the Punjab Health Department to ensure physical presence of professional pharmacists on medical stores whose certificates were being used at pharmacies.

During the hearing, the court was informed that many pharmacists and qualified persons had given their degrees/registration certificates to others against huge amounts and benefits in most of the medical stores/pharmacies of the province. The court was also informed that health department officials and drug inspectors were involved in this malpractice. The persons whose degrees and certificates were being used were not even present in the country, the complainants told the court.

On it, the court observed that “this illegal practice must be stopped immediately.”

The court further observed that “Every citizen has his right that he/she must be provided guidance by qualified pharmacist regarding the usage and effects of medicine.”

The judge ordered the health officials to run campaigns on both electronic and print media to sensitize people about their rights and to warn all those who were involved in this heinous crime.

“People have right even to ask the store owner about the presence of any professional pharmacist,” the judge observed.

The court held that strict action would be taken against the responsible and directed it to submit report within one month time whether the qualified persons were physically present there or not.