Unqualified people running drug stores in city’s slums

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KARACHI: The illegal business of medicines is continuing unabated throughout Karachi in the wake of government failure to regulate the business.

An official at Sindh’s Health Department told PPI that the number of medical stores had been increasing in the city slums, causing harm to the people. These unqualified people prescribe wrong drugs to the patients in the name of substitutes, which often cause harm to the patients than the benefit.

He informed that there were 4500 registered or licensed medical stores in the city but currently, 10,000 to 15,000 other unregistered stores were also operating in various areas of the metropolis. He said majority of these illegal medical stores were operating in suburban areas of the city including Landhi, Korangi, Orangi, FB Area and Machhar Colony.

He said there was acute shortage of drug inspectors in the city and resultantly, inspectors were unable to monitor the illegal medical stores across the city. He said illegal medical stores were operating in different areas of the city without any proper check and balance system.

An official said regular monitoring of medical stores was needed in Karachi to ensure provision quality medicines to citizens but unfortunately, there was no proper mechanism introduced by the authorities concerned to monitors the medical stores. The government has appointed drug inspectors in the province, supposed to keep vigil on the drug sale, but they take bribe from the druggists and the people continue to suffer.

Chief Drug Inspector Sindh, Syed Qalb-e-Hasan Rizvi, while talking to PPI, said: “Sindh Drug Control administration has been facing acute shortage of manpower as only three drug inspectors are available for entire Karachi while three posts were lying vacant in department.

He said action against illegal medical stores had been launched in slums areas of Karachi but more drug inspectors are needed as per population growth of the city to control this illegal practice.

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