Alleged spurious injections: Probe ordered after dozens lose sight in Punjab

LAHORE: On the orders of caretaker Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Jamal Nasir, all stocks of alleged spurious injections, manufactured by a pharmaceutical company, have been removed from the province’s pharmacies, it emerged on Sunday.

Following reports that dozens of patients of diabetes had lost their eyesight in Lahore and Kasur, although partially, after they were administered locally manufactured injection Avastin, Punjab’s healthcare minister ordered the removal of the injection from medical stores.

On the other hand, the inquiry committee, headed by Dr. Asad Aslam, will submit its findings within three days. Earlier, the federal government launched an immediate inquiry into a complaint received from Kasur that the injection, when administered to patients, caused an adverse reaction.

Taking notice of the complaint, Federal Minister for Health Dr. Nadeem Jan contacted Punjab Minister for Health Dr Javed Ikram by telephone and ordered an inquiry.

The latter told the former that the Punjab government had already constituted a five-member committee in this regard. Jan assured Ikram that the federal government would take all necessary steps to ensure a transparent inquiry into the incident. “We are keeping a close eye on the situation,” the minister said.

According to reports, diabetic patients in Lahore, Kasur, and Jhang districts were administered Avastin injections to address retinal damage. However, these injections led to severe infections, ultimately resulting in the loss of eyesight of approximately 12 patients, including the brother of senior Pakistan People’s Party leader Chaudhry Manzoor and his friend. In Kasur, four individuals also suffered irreversible vision loss.