Dec 312017

Pakistanis are already facing numerous problems, both economically and socially. The list of things we are deprived of is long and includes, but is not limited to, lack of affordable housing schemes, poor healthcare facilities, lack of pure drinking water, etc. One of the most deadly issues we face is the distribution and sale of fake medicine. This includes fake birth control pills, anti-malaria pills made of potato and starch and cough syrups. A research report by the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that one in 10 medical products circulating in low and middle-income countries are either substandard or falsified. As a concerned parent, it scares me every time I have to get medicines for my children. The basic healthcare facilities are a right of every citizen of Pakistan.

In the same report by WHO, there was something which caught my attention. A program launched by a Switzerland-based global healthcare company offers a portfolio approach in the healthcare industry, primarily aimed at increasing availability and affordability of 15 medicines addressing key non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The good news is that the company behind this initiative plans to roll out this program in 30 countries. This program seems like the beacon of light at the end of a dark tunnel. I strongly believe that we need to get rid of the menace of fake medicines because these are playing with the health of the people.

Nuzair A Virani


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