ISLAMABAD - Federal Ministry of Health has directed the provincial health ministries to take strict measures for controlling sale of spurious medicines. Sources in the Health Ministry informed TheNation that last week the Ministry issued strict directives to the provincial ministries of health to keep a vigilant eye over the sale of medicines at retail outlets and control sale of fake or outdated medicines. The federal ministry also directed the provincial ministries to improve working of Coordination Cells established for intelligence sharing with the law enforcement agencies for effective action against manufactures/sellers of spurious drugs, especially the mobile sellers. The letter written by the Federal Ministry of Health to the provincial health ministries reads that there is a serious need of adopting appropriate measures to curb sale of medicines, except over the counter medicines (OTC), without the prescription of a registered medical practitioners. "An effective cold chain system during transportation of medicines and at the retail outlets must strictly be enforced," it added. The letter also asked for taking effective actions against sale of drugs without licence, upgrading the drugs testing laboratories and equipping the same with the equipment required under Section II (F) of the Drugs Act, 1976. The Federal Ministry has directed appointment of drugs inspectors at Tehsil and Taluka levels with proper hierarchy at district, regional and province level besides providing the inspectors with proper inspection vehicles. The Ministry has also asked for intensifying campaign against unethical and misleading advertisements of drugs.