ISLAMABAD: Leveling serious allegations of embezzlements and bribe on the Drug Registration Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association and Pakistan Drug Lawyers Forum asked the legislature, the judiciary, the executives and the law enforcement agencies that why, what they called the “criminal of DRAP” – who are killing Pakistanis for money, are at large.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, they questioned if there is no law in Pakistan to hold DRAP officials accountable for their corruption.
Dr. Noor Muhammad Mahar, Pakistan Drug Lawyers Forum President said that on December 29, 2017, DRAP registered a killer dengue vaccine after they were bribed by a multinational company. The vaccine which claimed the lives of several children in the Philippines back in November 2017 has been banned by the World Health Organisation, he added.
Dr. Mahar further said that more than 4000 underprivileged patients die every day due to the unavailability as well as the high prices of life-saving medicines in the country, and DRAP is only working to enhance its profits.
“Aslam Afghani CEO DRAP has introduced new means to increase corruption in DRAP,” he said.
“Dr. Obaid Ali, a federal drug inspector was harassed and posted on special duty after he investigated and exposed some of the member companies of the ‘Club of 50’ that were continuously manufacturing poisonous and unsterilized injections,” added Dr. Mahar.
He said that after a drug inspector has reported to the DRAP Director Quality Assurance and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), it is a legal obligation, to begin with criminal proceedings against any company under section 23/27 of the Drugs Act of 1976, but instead of starting off with the proceedings, the DRAP CEO and QA started threatening the inspector and his family.
Dr. Mahar also claimed that a large quantity of infected milk was imported by the Club of 50 members and was later sold to infants.
Dr. Haroon Yousaf, President Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association said that Obaidullah, a BS-18 officer, who is well-known for corruption, embezzlement, and maladministration, was given the charge of the Chairman Drug Registration Board and that of the Director Admin DRAP to involve in illegal activities. Obaidullah along with Aslam Afghani, Ghullam Rasool Duttani, and Sh. Akhtar Hussain embezzled the entire record of Medicine Registration and Pricing.
People are being looted by the Club of 50 who are selling the medicines at prices fixed by themselves in connivance with the corrupt mafia of DRAP.
Dr. Hina Shaukat, General Secretary Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association said that Obaidullah along with other corrupt officers are formulating an engineered list of medicines with exorbitant prices. Dr. Hina added that DRAP has also registered hormones that are used to increase the production of milk in cattle, and are banned all across the world.
These hormones cause early puberty in young girls and develop breast cancer in women. Although the Punjab Government has demanded deregistration of these hormones, DRAP is the “part and parcel of the illegal medicine mafia”. We assure our full support and assistance to Provincial Governments against this mafia, she added.
Dr. Hina further said that officials of DRAP are openly getting foreign tours from Pharmaceutical Companies in the name of registration of imported medicines, and it is causing a huge loss to the Pakistani foreign exchange as the medicine exports have decreased from US$ 220 million to US$ 120 million while the imports have increased from US$ 409 million to US$ 690 million. Pakistan has become a market of inferior, substandard, infected and spurious imported medicines, she said.
Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, Vice President Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association said that in the year 2012, 292 cardiac patients died at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology because of a killer medicine. Aslam Afghani, who is one of the owners of the company that manufactured the deadly medicine now, has been inducted as the CEO of DRAP.