A locally manufactured injection marketed for treating conjunctivitis but allegedly responsible for causing vision loss in Punjab has been recalled from the market, and a case has been registered against suppliers, according to Interim Health Minister Dr. Nadeem Jan. Speaking in Islamabad alongside Punjab Minister Dr. Jamal Nasir, the minister stated that approximately 20 individuals had suffered blinding infections after taking the injection. The Punjab Health Department has sent a sample of the injection for testing, with results expected in two to three days. Reports of such infections have emerged from Multan, Kasur, Lahore, and Sadiqabad.
To assess the situation and prevent similar incidents, a five-member committee was formed. The committee’s primary objectives include submitting a comprehensive report within three days and providing recommendations.
Dr. Asad Aslam Khan from King Edward Medical University is the committee’s convener, with other members including Director General Drugs Control Muhammad Sohail, Dr. Muhammad Moin from Mayo Hospital Lahore, Dr. Tayyaba from Lahore General Hospital, and Dr. Mohsin from Services Hospital.
Caretaker Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare, Dr. Jamal Nasir, informed the media that stocks of the infection-causing injection had been withheld and sealed. He advised doctors and patients not to use the drug, and medical stores, wholesalers, and distributors were prohibited from selling it. Concurrently, a case was registered at the Faisal Town Lahore Police Station upon the request of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). The case specified that the injection was manufactured in Faisal Town and prepared in a private hospital laboratory. Police are conducting raids to apprehend the lab owners, Naveed Abdullah and employee Bilal Rasheed, who are accused of manufacturing, stockpiling, and selling unlicensed and unregistered injections in violation of DRAP and the Drug Act of 1976 and 2012. Dr. Nasir noted that these individuals were profiting from the injections and had an extensive network beyond Lahore and Kasur, reaching Multan and Sadiqabad.