Fake pharmaceutical drugs have been found in Lahore once again. The rise in domestically produced pharmaceuticals have led to a decrease in the checks and balances placed on companies that make them, and this has led to a flood of cheaply produced drugs that have no use for the people that buy them. This has happened before as well. Over a 100 people died in 2012 because of counterfeit drugs given to heart patients in Lahore. More died the same year, as a result of cough syrups that made their way into the hands of consumers completely unchecked.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan is reportedly trying to clamp down on the factories and the shops that sell these drugs, but this will all be useless unless the law enforcement agencies get involved and assist them in bring the people responsible to justice. The FIA it seems has joined hands with the DRA, but all of this needs to be done before we have another crisis like the one in 2012. That means haste, something which is missing in all the actions of our guardians. The ones that are involved in producing and spreading these drugs are serious criminals that need to be brought in, to keep them from doing this again, and to discourage any others that might aspire to repeat their crime.

The amount of money going into the local industry, which holds around 58% of the market share, should ensure that the drugs that come out are safe, and ready to use for the consumer. Out of the 42% of the market that MNCs do operate in, only 15% of the drugs are produced outside the country. The rest are made right here. The risk of this, at a time when fake drugs have infiltrated the market cannot be overstated. The rates of most medicines have not been changed for the past 8 years, which makes drugs in Pakistan cheaper than most countries around the world including Bangladesh and India.

The pharmaceutical shops are to blame as well. Dubious suppliers that cannot confirm the reliability of the drugs they sell should be avoided at all costs. More than 4000 retailers are registered with the government, but there is no telling just how many more operate illegally. The health system of Pakistan is fractured and incompetent, and the need for restructure is obvious.