The Ministry of National Health has taken stern notice of the shortage of drug Dexamethasone, a proposed drug for critically ill patients of COVID-19.
In the UK, dexamethasone was found to improve the condition of people severely affected by COVID-19, and the World Health Organization acknowledged the study.
After which Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, said in a tweet yesterday that “an expert team in Pakistan will also consider the use of dexamethasone in the treatment of COVID-19 patients”.
However, he warned that dexamethasone is intended for coronavirus patients who are on oxygen and ventilators, especially those who think it may protect them from coronavirus. It can be harmful to health.
Since then, there has been a shortage of the drug at medical stores in many parts of the country, including Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar.
The Ministry of National Health has issued a letter to the pharmacies and medical stores in Islamabad directing that dexamethasone be sold only to patients who bring a prescription.
The Ministry of Health also directed the pharmacies to keep a complete record of sales of dexamethasone and to keep a copy of the prescription from each customer as a record.
On the other hand, after research on Dexamethasone came to light in many parts of the country including Islamabad, there was a shortage of the drug, on which the Ministry of Health directed distributors, pharmacies, to ensure availability of Dexamethasone pill, injection.
The Ministry of Health said that DRAP has fixed a specific price for the drug and sale above the stipulated price is prohibited and a crime. Strict action will be taken against illegal distributors and medical stores.
The letter also said that the drug is given only to patients suffering from coronavirus, and customers at the medical store should bring a prescription in order to buy the drug.