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July 18, 2020

COVID-19 drugs sale in black market annoys court

 
July 18, 2020

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court on Friday expressed serious dismay over sale of lifesaving injection “Actemra” in black market and increase in prices of COVID-19 related medicines.

Without naming federal minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi observed that if a federal minister could not find the injection from open market what to talk about the helplessness of common people.

The railways minister had tested positive for COVID-19 pandemic during the last month. After recovering from the coronavirus, he had told a press conference that he had been unable to get the injection even for Rs500,000. He said NDMA chairman Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal had arranged the injection for him.

Justice Sethi was hearing a petition byJudicial Activism Panel’s chairman Advocate Azhar Siddique against increase in drug prices and unavailability of injection Actemra. The judge observed that private hospitals were charging exorbitant dues from corona patients and there was no authority to check them.

The judge directed the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) and healthcare commission to submit reports on drug prices and the mechanism to govern the private hospitals respectively. The judge also ordered the Drap to ensure sale of medicines on controlled prices. The hearing was adjourned until Monday. The petition pleaded that corona had been spreading rapidly in

the country but the prices of masks and other necessary items had skyrocketed. It said the price of one packet of Chloroquine tablet reached Rs3,000 while lifesaving injection Actemra’s price had gone up to Rs1 million.

It said the Drap failed to control the prices of these items and requested the court to take action against the responsible and bring the price of these essential drugs and items to an affordable level.

Remand extended in graft case: An accountability court on Friday extended judicial remand of five accused involved in DPO office corruption case worth Rs360 million. The court has extended judicial remand of the accused, including Arif Hussain, Riaz, Shafique, Toheed Khan and Ahmad Saeed.

The accused were not produced before thecourt due to COVID-19 situation. As per details, the NAB has accused these persons of embezzlement of millions of rupees from the DPO office, Sahiwal by forging receipts of fuel. The accused made false reports of fuel consumption and bogus fuel bills.

The accused served as accountant at DPO office during 2009-13, 2014-15 and 2016-18.housing fraud: AN accountability court on Friday extended judicial remand of one Shamraiz Khan, accused of looting people in the name of a housing society. The court has extended judicial remand of the accused until 29 July. The accused was not produced before the court due to COVID-19 situation. The judge has also asked NAB to submit complete report of the reference against the accused on next hearing.

The NAB had accused Shamraiz of looting people through his housing society in Sahiwal namely Allama Iqbal Town Housing Society. The accused collected large sum of money from investors in the name of plots but didn’t hand them over plots.