ISLAMABAD - Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) on Thursday directed all feder­al and provincial drugs departments to ensure prescription based sale of Dexa­methasone medicine for the critically ill COVID-19 patients.

The DRAP, in a notification, said that due to the emergent situation of SAARs-CoV-2 (COVD-19) pandemic, availa­bility of all medicines is to be ensured throughout the country, specially those found effective in the treatment of the COVID-19. Recently, Dexamethasone, a synthetic steroid, has been found poten­tially beneficial in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Availability of the medicine containing dosage forms is to be en­sured by taking the following measure.

The notification said that Dexametha­sone containing dosage forms (injections, tablets and oral solution) should be sold at the licensed pharmacies, drug/medical stores only on prescription basis.

All licensed sale points shall main­tain record of the prescription of a reg­istered physician/consultant for Dexa­methasone containing dosage forms.

The notification said that the National Task Force, constituted for the purpose of eradication of spurious and substand­ard drugs, is directed to take immediate action under the law against those in­volved in black marketing, hoarding and not complying with above directions.

Earlier, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) DRAP Asim Rauf said that around 57 pharmaceutical companies in the coun­try are manufacturing ‘Dexamethasone’, the medicine welcomed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for treat­ment of critically ill COVID-19 patients.