TANDO MOHAMMAD KHAN          -            Substandard and expired samples of drugs given to the doctors by pharmaceutical companies for their free of cost distribution among the poor and needy are being sold at majority of medical stores in the district. It has been learnt that a large number of drug wholesalers and retailers are involved in this business.

According to the survey, conducted by this scribe, majority of medical stores in Tando Mohammad Khan, Matli, Tando Ghulam Ali, Mirpur Bathoro, Jhok, Bulri Shah Karim, Tando Ghulam Hyder, Talhar, Tando Saindad, Jinhan Soomro and their adjoining towns and villages are selling substandard medicines, which sometimes turn out to be life threatening for the patients. Besides, quacks are increasing in numbers in the district with each passing day. According to the survey, close to hundred quacks are found in Tando Mohammad Khan and its adjoining areas alone.

These quacks are the main source of the spread of Hepatitis-B and C and other epidemics in the district, which is already in a state of high alert as it has the highest number of Hepatitis patients in lower Sindh.

It has been learnt that drug inspectors are pocketing hundreds of thousands of rupees per month in commission extracted from drug dealers, medical store owners and quacks. Talking to The Nation, a Health Department official has confirmed reports of commission of irregularities, and said that dozens of such cases are under the scrutiny of the Sindh Quality Control Board.

 He said that so far owners of several medical stores had either been fined or jailed on charges of possessing substandard medicines, Iranian and Indian-made drugs and even expired drugs.

He said that minutes after a quack or medical store owner was held, he would start receiving calls from many influential people, requesting him to let that person go.

“Some of the doctors, quacks and paramedics have even been found reusing syringes as they do not have any syringe cutters at their clinics,” he disclosed.