Low-quality drugs flood Khost, complain residentsBy Hidayatullah Khosti Feb 20, 2012 - 17:53
KHOST CITY (PAN): Residents on Monday complained low-quality medicines were being sold in southeastern Khost province, a claim confirmed by the public health department.
The province, which shares a 160-kilometer border with Pakistan, is a smuggling hub for a variety of trade goods that are seldom confiscated by customs officials.
Resident Yusuf Khan said a huge quantity of spurious drugs flooded stores in the provincial capital, Khost City. He claimed the drugs were taking a heavy toll on patients’ heath.
“Every doctor prescribes medicine worth at least one thousand afghanis, even for a patient with cough, but the drugs are ineffective,” he said, urging the government to take stern action against the druggists selling such medicines.
Most of patients visited Pakistan for the treatment of even minor diseases as they did not rely on the substandard medication, said another local, Abdul Wahab.
Dr Muhammad Wali Shah, a local medical store owner, said some traders were involved in supplying low-quality medicine to them. “There are dozens of unlicenced medical stores in the province but no one bothers to keep them in check.”
A lack of checks on machine at customs points was the main problem, said Sultan, a drug trader. “A trader always tries to have more profit, therefore, they bring in low-priced medicines. It is for the government to control the situation,” Sultan remarked.
Acting Public Health Director Dr Hidayatullah Hameedi said they had conducted several raids to stop the sale of low-quality medicine. Several stores had been sealed and various companies blacklisted to discourage the business, he added.
The customs department had no facility to evaluate medicines, said Mumtaz, director of mobile teams at the customs department. He said traders had promised them not to bring in expired drugs.