LAHORE – Smuggled drugs remain top choice of physicians due to high efficacy and absence of legal substitutes while the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) has been dragging feet over the serious matter.

About two dozen unregistered drugs have regularly been prescribed by top physicians due to their effectiveness. These drugs, available at selected pharmacies, are sold at much-high rates. Had these drugs been registered with the DRA? The patients would have saved from fivefold spending on smuggled items.

Besides, legal import would definitely have made these drugs available at all stores and not only at selected pharmacies.

As per clause 8 of Drug Rules, ‘where it is necessary in public interest to do, the Registration Board may register a drug at its own motion without having received any application for registration’. But, the quarters concerned are not fulfilling their duties that would have enabled companies to import important drugs instead of keeping these illegally with the connivance of drug inspectors. As such, the DRA has put patients on the mercy of smugglers and selected pharmacies that avoid giving illegal medicines to unknown persons due to fear of legal action.

Important drugs that could not be imported due to unannounced ban caused by lack of the DRA initiative to register and as such smuggled owing to high demand include Anti Snake Injection, Anabol Tablet, Questran Powder, Florin F tab, Isodril tab, Crestor tab, Prograf Capsule (0.5 milligram and 1 gram), Marevan tab, Premarin tab, ACTH injection, Cerebrolysin inj, Vasolastin inj, Cytotec tab, Deltacortril Enteric, Hydrocartisone tab, Atrovent Solution, Trental 400 mg tab, Danabol DS tab, Levo Thyroxin tab, Agiolax, Plaquanil tab and Infacol Drops.

Anti Snake is used in case of snake bite, Questran Powder for lowering blood cholesterol level, Florin F and Atrovent Solution for asthma, Isodril and Crestor in heart attack, Marevan after heart valve replacement, Prograf to control auto immune diseases, Premarin to prevent osteoarthritis in women, ACTH, Cerebrolysin and Vasolastin in paralysis, Cytotec to initiate early labour pain to save mother’s life, Hydrocartisone for harmon regularization, Trental in kidney diseases and after renal transplant, Levo Thyroxin to cure thyroid disease, Agiolax in constipation and Infacol Drops to cure uneasy abdomen of infants.

Anabol Tablet is an effective steroid, Deltacortril Enteric a gastro resistant tablet having a special 'enteric coating' that is designed to stop the prednisolone from irritating the stomach, Danabol DS is a steroid that increases protein synthesis and Plaquanil is an anti rheumatic.