Contaminated cardiac medicines take 72 lives hitherto

With 72 deaths have been reported thus far, the provincial government of Punjab has decided to send the drug and blood samples to laboratories abroad to investigate the mystic deaths that are being caused by a drug that was distributed free by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology.

Unfortunately, something has gone awfully wrong with the treatment of cardiac patients in Lahore, the provincial metropolis of Punjab.

The government’s reaction has been deeply faulty over the issue. According many doctors and pharmacists the adverse reaction of certain life-saving medicines given to cardiac patients by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) was main reason behind the deaths.

The concerned authorities have done little to avert further deaths apart from making another committee to look into the matter.

Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who also holds the portfolio of health ministry, failed to seal of a portion of the pharmaceutical company that provides cardiac drugs to the concerned department.

The drugs including Cardiovestin (simvastatin), Alfagril (clopidogrel), Concort (amlodipine), and Soloprin (aspirin) were believed to be provided by the concerned companies. However, nothing has been done hitherto to get a laboratory analysis of the batch of medicines suspected of having done the loss.

At the same time, no actions have been taken so for to secure alternative medicines for free distribution amongst poor PIC affected patients.

Up till now, at least 72 people have lost their lives while 2, 000 patients are at risk from across the province who have already used a combination of the possibly spurious or adulterated medicines.

Under the law, it is responsibility of concerned authorities to test these medicines in a laboratory for the proportion of ingredients. At the same time, another 8,000 patients, who have been suggested against using these medicines ever since the adverse reaction of the drugs was observed, are getting hard in obtaining alternative medicaments.

It seems that they have been left to fend for themselves by the health authorities. The incumbent must consider the severity of the situation and take suitable steps to help those who are in dire need of substitute treatment.

It should have been done the day the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) stopped distributing the suspicious medicines.