Monday December 05, 2022

Unit producing fake anaesthesia busted

November 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Questions are being asked by healthcare professionals as well as common people where to get genuine medicines after drug control administrations of two provinces and the federal capital along with police raided a compound in the suburbs of Peshawar on Wednesday where empty vials of an important anaesthesia drug were being filled with chloroform.

“Yesterday night, a joint team of drug control administrations from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with federal drug inspectors raided a compound in Garhi Qamar Din on Kohat Road, Peshawar where empty vials of an essential anesthesia drug of a multinational company were being filled with chloroform, an anaesthetic whose use has been stopped decades ago due to its lethal side effects”, Atiq-ul-Bari, an official of the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) told The News. According to anesthesiologists, the anaesthetic drug whose generic name is isoflurane, is widely used for giving general anaesthesia.

The DRAP official told that a couple of days back, the drug control administration officials of Punjab had raided a shop in the Bohar Bazar Rawalpindi and seized a large quantity of spurious anaesthesia drug, which was sent to the drug testing laboratory, where it was confirmed that the vials of anaesthesia drug contained chloroform instead of isoflurane, which is the genuine medicinal compound. “Upon investigation, it came to our knowledge that empty vials of anaesthesia drug are collected from various hospitals, which are later sent to a compound in suburbs of Peshawar, refilled with chloroform and then supplied to hospitals through various suppliers of Bohar Bazar”, the Bari said and added that a joint team of federal and provincial drug inspectors along police raided the compound in KP and arrested an Afghan citizen involved in the heinous crime.

The raiding party recovered printed material, a large number of empty vials of the imported anaesthesia drug as well a huge amount of chloroform from the compound, Bari said adding that they have handed over the culprit to the police.

There are around 80,000 pharmacies, medical stores and ‘sale points’ where medicines and other therapeutic goods are available for sale but the majority of these facilities lack trained and qualified pharmacists, temperature control and in some cases genuine medicines, leading pharmacists said and urged people to buy medicines from community pharmacies which directly buy medicines from the manufacturers and importers. “To get genuine medicine, we as pharmacists ask patients to buy medicines from the community pharmacies, which directly buy the medicines from the drug manufacturers and the importers, Umaima Muzammil, a leading pharmacist in Karachi said.