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DEATH IN THE NAME OF DRUG

Fake medicine is a worldwide phenomenon but Pakistan is worst hit. According the the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as one million people die every year worldwide from ingesting counterfeit medications. No data is collected as how many people dies in Pakistan every year due to fake medicine. In Pakistan, in 2012, in one incident alone, 120 people died after taking counterfeit heart medicine. On national assembly floor in 2010, the then interior minister Rehman Malik estimated that between 45-50% of Pakistani drugs were fake or of substandard quality. Instead of taking solid step to curb down this tendency, the government opted to be silent on the issue. Thanks to social media, one can find videos of a fake medicine packaging plant in different parts of the country but little action is taken to wipe out this evil unbridled. Last year in November, the customs authorities in Islamabad raided some fake medicine packaging plant in Islamabad and found that vitamin bottles were being stuffed with the same green tablets by the unscrupulous persons running this operation. Even more shocking was the fact that this packaging factory was operated by the owners of one of Islamabad’s leading chemists. While these vitamins originally manufactured in Pakistan, the fake medicine makers labeled the bottles as ‘made in USA’ to attract the people in the name of imported vitamins.