Pakistan: Interferon shortage: Health department to meet pharmaceutical company today

PESHAWAR:The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) health department is scheduled to meet pharmaceutical company Pharmedic Laboratories on Friday (today) to work out a solution to the interferon shortage in the province.

A high-ranking official of the department told The Express Tribune the government has paid Rs70.3 million to the Lahore-based company for 0.8 million vials of interferon, but cannot take the medicine used to treat hepatitis. The case has been pending in court regarding substandard interferon since 2013, he added, explaining the gap in supply.

At the time, the Anti-Corruption Establishment seized over 0.5 million vials from public hospitals. According to an official source, the remaining stock of interferon with the health department ran out in November and since then patients await free treatment as they cannot afford to buy the drug at retail cost from pharmacies. The shortage is affecting an estimated 47,000 patients of hepatitis C across the province.


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