KARACHI (APP) - Senior citizens of the country, suffering from Parkinson disease, have asked for a vailability of the essential first line, locally produced drug at all government owned dispensaries. Talking to APP on Saturday, they said Pakistan observing World Parkinson Disease 2009 can bring about a meaningful improvement in the life of patients by ensuring that the only locally produced drug for Parkinson is also available in different potencies. The drug is cost effective and at par in context of efficacy with their smuggled version, said Mrs. Zuleikha Ali. The problem, however, is that only a single potency is produced by the local company while more than 500,000 patients in the country need different potencies of the same, in accordance to their respective degrees of ailment. The marked difference in the cost of Pakistan made medicines and those smuggled into the country compels large majority to depend on Pakistan made drug. We, however, have to cut a single tablet into pieces so as to consume in accordance to our respective requirements, said Wajahat Ali who is assisted by his sons in drug management. Many of these patients may not have someone very careful to see that only required dose is consumed and over or under-dosage is avoided. The fact that the drugs have their side-effects can also not be overlooked. While a significant proportion of the needed drugs for Parkinson are smuggled and are expensive, with an estimated monthly cost of Rs.3000 to Rs.4000 the only Pakistan drug slashes the monthly expenditure to Rs.500 to Rs.600. However, this amount is also not affordable for the large majority and they do expect availability of the drugs at all government owned dispensaries in the country. Parkinson, a degenerative and age related disorder has emerged to be an unending plight for vast majority of 500,000 registered patients in Pakistan. Since indistinct speech and poor control over motor skills are the associated conditions of the ailment therefore people, despite all their sympathies, appear to be indifferent in providing needed help to the patients. Neurologists responding to queries raised viz a viz relevance of medicines for the degenerative disorder said these contribute to 50% of the entire therapy circle. The other half but equally essential interventions were said to comprise No Stress, proper diet, physical exercise and speech therapy. Haroon Bashir, a senior citizen and President, Pakistan Parkinsons Society said poor understanding of the disease coupled with lack of facilities has denied almost equal number of patients of even the basic medical support for their condition. We estimate that besides 500,000 registered patients, provided with some sort of medical help, there are no less than 500,000 who are yet to visit any doctor, he said. Those who are yet to be recognized as victims of Parkinson are mainly from the lowest socio-economic rung and generally based in rural centers.