ISLAMABAD The scam of spurious drugs worth over Rs70 million in Lady Health Workers Programme has taken a new turn after revelation that the Central Drugs Laboratorys (CDL) officials received threats during the course of examination. According to sources, the supplier company threatened the CDL officials of dire consequences if they did not change examination report according to their desire. However, the sources added, the CDL officials refused to yield to their pressure. This was revealed during a visit by the Senate Sub Committee on Health to the CDL in order to conduct further probe into the scam. The Chairperson Senate Committee on Health Kulsum Parveen, Haseeb Khan, Seemi Siddique and Farhat Abbas got details of 30 samples of Paracetemol tablets of Shifa Laboratory Lahore which were procured by Primary Health Care programme of Ministry of Health during 2007-2008. The potency of the samples was found to be ranging from 13-15 percent against the required 95-105 percent. PHC programme had procured over 300 million tablets at cost of Rs70 million. The committee also appreciated the work being done at CDL Karachi. Federal Government Analyst Obaid Ali independently responsible for receiving samples, analysis briefed the members on the issue. After the suo motu notice of Supreme Court regarding availability of highly substandard drugs in government hospitals, Ministry of Health had launched a crash programme of sampling through formal approval of Secretary Health. The design of the programme aimed to evaluate the quality of drugs available in Federal Government Hospitals, and primary health care programme (the most important programme of the Ministry of Health which purchases medicines worth millions of rupees per annum). After revelation of the scam the Ministry conducted an in-depth inquiry into the case of grossly substandard results, huge quantum of supply of over 300 million tablets and their distribution throughout Pakistan ranging from Karachi to Peshawar. It has turned out to be the worst spurious medicines scandal in the history of Pakistan. As punishment which the Central Licensing Board suspended the licence of the Shifa Laboratories for one year after it supplied medicines worth Rs70 million to the LHW. Health Ministry Officers posted at Hyderabad, Peshawar and Islamabad had detected this scam of drug history.