Pakistan Supreme Court interjects itself in drug death scandal

The Supreme Court in Pakistan has now stepped into the controversy over allegedly contaminated drugs that have killed more than 130 people and sickened hundreds more.

On Monday, the court directed the federal government to establish the Drug Regulatory Authority within 10 days, after it learned that 5 countries had banned the import of Pakistani medicines. The deaths in Lahore may have resulted from reactions to contaminated drugs.

During the hearing, the court expressed dismay because a regulatory agency had not been formed to oversee the pharmaceutical industry, reports The News International.  

A steady stream of patients died in recent weeks after being treated at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, which reportedly gave them drugs received as a donation. Testing of the drugs reportedly found some tainted by a high quantity of an anti-malarial chemical.

The Pakistan Medical Association and pharmaceutical associations in the country also have asked for establishment of a regulatory authority.

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