In a press conference held on Sunday, Interim Federal Health Minister Dr. Nadeem Jan announced the withdrawal of a locally manufactured injection responsible for causing vision loss among several patients in Punjab. The minister declared that immediate action had been initiated against the suppliers and manufacturers of the defective injection.
Reports of vision loss following the injection surfaced from various cities, including Multan, Kasur, Faisalabad, and Sadiqabad. Dr. Nadeem Jan assured the public that a comprehensive investigation was underway and pledged to provide the affected patients with the best available healthcare.
Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare, Dr. Jamal Nasir, disclosed that the injection in question was a 100mg dose, yet only 1.2mg was necessary for ocular treatment. Notably, the injection had been manufactured by a multinational pharmaceutical company and distributed through a reputable institution, making the situation even more alarming.
To address the issue, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) promptly removed the entire batch from the market, pending further investigation results. Furthermore, a five-member committee, led by Dr. Asad Aslam Khan of King Edward Medical University, was formed to assess the eye injuries caused by the injection and recommend measures to prevent future occurrences.
Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi ordered an immediate halt to the injection’s sale and the removal of existing stocks from the market until the inquiry report is submitted. The affected individuals will receive free treatment, and the government has initiated action against negligent drug inspectors. The Punjab Healthcare Commission has been tasked with scrutinizing relevant clinics and ensuring the availability of trained doctors in hospitals for treatment. Additionally, measures are being taken to control conjunctivitis disease across the affected regions.
As the investigation unfolds, health authorities are urging doctors and patients to refrain from using the Avastin injection, while samples are undergoing rigorous laboratory testing to uncover the full extent of the issue.