Dexamethasone’s price hiked, disappears from the shelves in Islamabad

Considering the behavior of the drug store owners, the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) decided to launch action against the greedy profiteers.

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Doctors treating Covid-19 recently discovered the use of a new drug to help deal with coronavirus effects. They observed that Dexamethasone, a low-cost, widely used, anti-inflammatory drug visibly improved the chances of survival for seriously ill patients. It was also determined that the drug did not bring any relief to patients with mild symptoms.

Dexamethasone’s demand rose as doctors started prescribing the drug to coronavirus patients. As soon as the news spread, drug store owners looking to benefit from the situation started hoarding vast quantities of the widely available, cheap medicine.

Considering the behavior of the drug store owners, the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) decided to launch action against the greedy profiteers. On Wednesday, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner (DC) Hamza Shafqat issued a notification regarding the matter, which contained details of the action plan.

A regular check of these records would be maintained:

In the notification, the Deputy Commissioner directed all pharmacies to ensure the uninterrupted supply of the drug Dexamethasone and sell it only to people who have a doctor’s prescription. Moreover, the drug store owners and workers were instructed to maintain the sale and purchase records of the medicine. A regular check of these records would be maintained by the Assistant Commissioners (ACs) to ensure complete transparency.

The statement issued by DC Hamza Shafqat also contains specific warnings for profiteers stating that they will face the Hoarding Act 1977, Drug Act 1976, and Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) 2012 Act Schedule-II. Necessary action will be taken against the drug stores and pharmacies if they are seen selling Dexamethasone at a hiked price or seen hoarding it with the purpose of exploitation.

The notification concludes with an action plan for dispensaries that do not comply with the guidelines mentioned above. The procedure will begin with the District Administration forming special teams to take necessary action against drug stores and pharmacies involved in the vile practice.

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