LAHORE - Non-availability of life saving drug 'NeoMercazole' has put the lives of hundreds of patients at risk. The said drug is not available in the market for the last two months while its alternative Carbizole is available only at some stores with its black-marketing at its pinnacle. The medical experts say that the said drug is prescribed to stop over functioning of the thyroid glands, which could cause serious effects on the health of the patient. A considerable delay in using this medicine could also cause blockage of the heart veins, the experts warned. The patients are in trouble when their consultants insist them to use NeoMercazole instead its alternate Carbizole. Principal Fatima Jinnah Medical College/Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and renowned surgeon Prof Dr Majeed Chaudhry said that NeoMercazole is a life saving drug. This medicine is advised to the patients suffering from thyroid glands for six to 12 weeks before surgery to avoid complications. It becomes almost difficult for the surgeons to conduct operation if the said drug is not taken by the patient according to the prescription of the consultant. NeoMercazole medicine is a cheap drug, within the reach of even poor patients, which is only Rs50 (per bottle). Each bottle contains 100 tablets. Similarly, price of its alternate medicine Carbizole can also be purchased at an accessible price Rs31 (per bottle). Each bottle contains again 100 tablets). Attiqur Rehman Bilal, Pharmacy manager of a big medical store situated in front of the Services Hospital told The Nation that Babar Medicine Company is the main distribution centre supplying this medicine in the city. Babar Medicine Company claims that the medicine has been vanished from the market following a dispute of fixing of price between the government and the medicine company manufacturing NeoMercazole. Babar Medicine Company said that the manufacturer of the said drug has stopped supplying the medicine after the government reduced its price from Rs50 to Rs45. The said dispute is still unresolved which has resulted in acute shortage of the said medicine, he further said. A senior officer of Babar Medicine Company, Ghayas-ud-Din said that the company also has very limited stock of only 50 bottles of said medicine. While terming it a most essential and life saving drug, he said that the said medicine was manufactured by a multinational company Reckitt and its further shortage could cause grave results for the health of the patients in near future. About solution of the said drug' shortage, Ghayas said, company's owner could tell better in this regard. It is learnt that the NeoMercazole, which was available in the form of tablets is being prescribed by the doctors on large scale despite the fact that it has been vanished from the market. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital DMS, Dr Masood Sheikh said that NeoMercazole medicine contains the active ingredient carbimazole, which is an antithyroid medicine. It is used to decrease the amount of thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland. He said that Carbimazole acts to prevent the conversion of iodine to its useable form. Carbimazole also acts to block the combination of converted iodine with other components to form thyroid hormones. This results in a decreased production of thyroid hormones.