Mass phobia grips city over local medicines

Mass phobia gripsLAHORE: Patients with different ailments, especially heart-related, are in a fix over whether to purchase local medicines or not after scores of heart patients lost their lives after using medicines dispersed by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), Pakistan Today has learnt.

People at large are panicking and are unable to decide if local medicines can be trusted at all, including even those which are not related to heart diseases. Many patients are scared and are refusing to use even simple painkillers as Ponstan.Talking to Pakistan Today, Imran Syed, an expatriate from UK who is a heart patient said, “I’m a heart patient and I have come back to spend my vacations with my relatives…usually I buy medicines from here if I need them but this time I’ve been advised by my wife an kids to not to purchase medicines from here since they could be poisonous…my wife will be coming over from UK in a few days and will bring my medicines from there.

It is a shame that we cannot even purchase medicines with peace of mind from here…what will the rest of the world think of us?” The panic is not just limited to patients. Even pharmacists have stopped buying large stocks of locally manufactured drugs with one of them saying, “When the government has not spared the factory owners, we are small fries and stand no where…it’s better not to purchase huge stocks because we might get booked somehow too.” Even doctors have started prescribing foreign manufactured drugs which are a lot more expensive.

A senior doctor at PIC seeking anonymity said doctors are also afraid of the entire scenario. “The doctor only prescribes medicines, but if the drug is not effective or is spurious, it is not a doctor’s fault…but in current scenario the doctors are scared too and hesitate from prescribing even Paracetamol which is a very common drug, but they just don’t want to take the risk,” he added.PIC Medical Superintendent Dr Salim Jaffar said, “people should take medicines for cure as God gives relief and man should not lose hope…one incident should not stop people from buying local medicines. – PT