BHALWAL-Unqualified persons are running the pharmacies here without fear from the authorities concerned as the drug inspectors are silenced with kickbacks by the owners.

Category B examination is necessary to get pharmacy licence after Matriculation with science and biology as compulsory subjects. However, most of such shops are being operated by unqualified people having irrelevant education. In addition, they also prescribe medicines to the patients without doctors’ advice.

Local people said that in the name of alternatives, even wrong medicines are sold. People’s lives are at stake due to increasing number of illegal medical stores in the city. Vigilance by drug inspector is almost zero thanks to his indulgence in receiving kickbacks from such medical stores causing harm to the people. Huge gratification keeps the drug inspector silent on the public issue, they said.

The nefarious hitch is boosting the business of quackery and illegal health services. The Punjab Healthcare Act 2010 defines quack a pretender providing health care services without having registered with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, Council for Tibb, Council for Homeopathy and Nursing Council.

Local people said that qualified pharmacists holding category B certificates deliver their medical stores to unqualified persons and get huge sums on monthly basis. The illegal business of medical stores is being run under the nose of the drug inspectors.

The people also demanded raids under direct supervision of chief drug inspector Punjab through deputy drug inspectors to sniff out the outlets sans pharmacists and run by rental licences.

A government doctor, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the illegal business and added that inferior quality and spurious medicines are sold to consumers. Drug inspectors lack ability to monitor, regulate and control illegal drug stores. The people requested the government to take strict action against illegal drug shops.