Lahore is grappling with a severe scarcity of life-saving medicines. With more than 120 vital drugs missing from local pharmacies and medical stores, the shortage has induced stress and anxiety among patients and their attendants, raising concerns about access to essential healthcare.
Among the medicines in short supply are critical drugs like Glucophage, which is extensively prescribed for diabetic patients. Even alternatives to Glucophage that aid in managing sugar levels for type 2 diabetes are facing scarcity on local shelves.
Blood thinning medications vital for cardiac patients, as well as Hepa-Merz, commonly used to support the treatment of liver diseases such as jaundice, hepatitis, and hepatic cirrhosis, are also experiencing shortages, exacerbating the healthcare challenges for those in need.
According to healthcare professionals, even medicines for treating diarrhea – particularly crucial after periods of rain – are in short supply. This dearth is concerning given the potential for severe stomach-related illnesses to escalate into life-threatening complications.
Shockingly, some widely-used medications, especially those prescribed to both children and adults for coughs, are reportedly being diverted to the black market. Pharmacy owners are allegedly stockpiling common medicines such as Pyodine and Polyfax skin ointment, exploiting the situation for undue profits.
The pharmaceutical industry itself is grappling with multiple challenges. Drug manufacturers are struggling to produce and supply medicines at approved rates due to the volatile exchange rate of the national currency against the dollar. This dilemma has also contributed to escalating raw material costs for imported ingredients.
Further aggravating the crisis, medicines needed for conditions like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and gynecological complications are also experiencing shortages, highlighting the widespread impact of the issue on diverse healthcare needs.
As patients struggle to access essential medications and healthcare providers confront the complexities of supply chain disruptions and rising costs, the Lahore healthcare landscape is facing an unprecedented challenge. This crisis underscores the importance of coordinated efforts between regulatory bodies, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare providers to ensure the uninterrupted availability of life-saving drugs for the wellbeing of the community.