LAHORE - During last month, the Drug Court of Lahore division imposed Rs2.3 million fines and handed down prison terms of up to four months on quacks and medical store owners selling spurious medicines, sources have told The Nation.

Seventeen medical stores were sealed on the court orders, after their owners were found guilty of running clinics without licenses and selling fake drugs.

The jurisdiction of the drug court is spread over five districts including Lahore, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Okara and Kasur.

However, not even a single medicine manufacturer of fake and spurious drugs was produced before the court or awarded punishment. Only retailers and bogus medics were brought to justice.

The drug court disposed of around 200 cases in November, according to a court official who wished not to be named. The court acquitted four accused persons during the period.

Experts estimate there is an increasing amount of fake medicines in the local market. There is also a lack of availability of certified doctors in towns and cities of the Punjab to examine the patients.

Muhammad Mansha, one of those convicted, was found guilty of injecting veterinary drugs to poor patients and running clinic without license and warranty. He was awarded three-month imprisonment and a fine of Rs40,000.

Another quack was awarded one month one month jail and Rs 50,000 fine after he was found guilty of running a clinic without the permission of the government in Sheikhupura district.

The main focus of the health authorities is on those who are running clinics without license or selling poor medicines.