Overpricing of medicines goes unchecked in Kashmir valley

Srinagar, October 04 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, over-pricing and sale of expired medicines by chemists is going on unchecked in the Kashmir valley.

Muhammad Arif, a consumer from Srinagar said that a chemist shop had tampered the expiry date of a health device (Glucometer strips) used for testing of blood sugar by pasting a sticker on the pack of the device.

“The actual expiry date of the strip pack was November 2021 but the chemist pasted the sticker on the device showing the expiry date as March 2022, the consumer said.

“This is a big scandal which needs a thorough probe. Such practice can take toll on the health of patients,” Muhammad Arif said.

Notably the department of drug controller is duty bound to regulate the chemist shops while the Legal Metrology Department (LMD) is required to check the surgical items and other health devices sold by the chemists.

“We have registered dozens of cases against the pharmaceutical shops for tampering with the price tags or expiry dates of the health devices or surgical items. In some cases, the fine was also imposed on the shop owner,” an official at LMD said. He said the pricing of medicines is directly controlled by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India.

Earlier, the LMD had written to the office of the divisional commissioner Kashmir about the tampering of price and expiry dates of the health devices by private pharmaceutical shops.

“The divisional commissioner had also taken up the matter with NPPA but there was no update after that. The issue was not followed,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Arshid Rasool, a customer from Srinagar complained: “I purchased a strip of 10 tablets of Denzo -12 in Jammu for Rs 195 but the same strip was sold to me for Rs 350 in Kashmir valley.”

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