LAHORE – Spurious medicines of Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) took nine more lives on Saturday as death toll climbed up to 23 prompting the secretary health to constitute a committee to probe the alleged reaction of cardiac medicines. 

According to details, Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Aslam, Ahmed Shabbir, Khursheed Bibi, Ijaz, Gul Hussain and Javed breathed their last due to the reaction of the medicines at Mayo Hospital, while Muhammad Amin and Ghulam Murtaza died at CMH and Services Hospital respectively on Saturday.

The committee formed by the Punjab Secretary Health Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan will be headed by Principal Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital Prof Javed Akram, with Chief Executive PIC Prof. Muhammad Azhar, Principal SIMS Prof. Faisal Masood, Prof. Irshad Hussain (KEMU), Prof. Farzana Chaudhry, Head of Pharmacy Department, University of Veterinary Sciences Lahore, Prof. Bashir Ahmad Head of PU’s Pharmacy Department, Prof. Farkhanda Kokab from Institute of Public Health, Addl. Secretary Health (Technical) Dr. Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Director General Health Punjab Dr Zahid Pervaiz, Prof. Munazza Qayyum DG Forensic Science Laboratory, Mufti Abdul Salam Director Drug Testing Laboratory, Prof. Nosheen of Allama Iqbal Medical College, Dr. Mubashir Attique Chief Chemical Examiner, Prof. Tahir Javed Punjab University, Sheikh Akhtar Hussain Deputy Director Cabinet Division and Ayyaz Ali Director Pharmacy DG Health Office as its members.

Prof Javed Akram said that a collection centre had been established to compile data of such patients from all the hospitals of Lahore, while arrangements had been made for analysing cardiac medicines of PIC from abroad.  He added that a helpline No 042-99200688 for the convenience of patients had been established. Prof Akram said alternate arrangements were being made to provide medicines to the PIC patients.

Meanwhile, Punjab Governor, Sardar Latif Khosa said on Saturday that he had sought report regarding deaths of patients at Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) allegedly due to spurious medicines being provided to heart patients free-of-cost at the PIC pharmacy.

Talking to reporters after addressing a National Symposium on disabled persons organised by Pakistan Society of Physical Medicines, the governor said that strict action would be taken against the responsible after conclusion of the final report.