And now we have the shortage of essential drugs in the market. Reportedly, medicines for diabetic patients have gone missing from stores in Lahore and some other parts of the province, putting their lives in jeopardy. There could be several reasons why medicines suddenly disappear from the market, but the result carries serious consequences for society. It must not be condoned under any circumstances. The drug companies in league with hoarders, more often than not, delay the supply of medicines to the market and when they reappear the price tag is higher. Sadly enough, their absence in the meantime claims a number of valuable lives. Other factors that contribute to the shortage are also at play. For instance, those drugs that are cheaper here are smuggled out of the country by unscrupulous dealers to make a quick buck. One cannot help but hold the government responsible for this artificial shortage. Provision of basic health facilities after all is one of the basic obligations it has to fulfil. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif's avowed mission in this regard will remain in limbo if the drug suppliers were to have a free hand to put patients' lives in danger. The manufacturers / dealers seem to have taken a cue from the recent example of wheat, cement and then the sugar cartel. The government's indecisiveness to bring them to book appears to be a major reason that could have prompted them to follow their example. Keeping in view the degree of leeway that has been extended to such unlawful elements, many would wonder whether the authorities are in control of affairs.