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Population official caught selling donated medicine

Population official caught selling donated medicine

TAXILA: An official of the population and welfare department was held by health authorities on Monday, for illegally selling medicines donated by USAID.

According to sources, in response to a tip-off, a team led by drug inspector Malik Arshad raided a building at Thatta Khalil road, where an official of the tehsil population welfare department was caught selling birth control medicine to a buyer.

It was revealed that the official had been supplying birth control medication, including injections and pills to private hospitals and clinics, which were in turn selling these drugs to clients. Both the buyer and seller were handed over to the police and the medicines were seized.

When contacted, Drug Inspector Malik Arshad said the medicines had been donated for use at the welfare centres of the Punjab population welfare department and were not for sale.

“The accused was making a profit by selling these medicines to various clinics, hospitals and stores and was held following proper investigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the accused official told Dawn, at the police station, that he was supplying the medicines with approval from senior officials in the department. He claimed that he was officially given the task of selling prescribed quantities of birth control medication to different hospitals and clinics and was charging Rs300 for each medicine.

“The amount received from selling the medicines was deposited in the official account of the department,” he said.

The official said he was asked to collect the medicines from the Rawalpindi office every week and supply them to different clinics and hospitals in the area.

Deputy district officer for population welfare, Tariq Mehmood, rejected the claims made by the official and termed them “a pack of lies”.

Mr Mehmood said the accused was deputed as a watchman at the Taxila office and could not have been assigned the task of supplying medicine to clinics and hospitals. He said the official somehow managed to acquire the medicine from the Rawalpindi office and was selling to selected customers in Taxila in his own capacity.

“The department had nothing to do with it,” he said.

In response to a question, he confirmed that the birth control medication, donated by USAID, was official property and could not be sold in the market. He said an official inquiry committee would be formed to probe how the accused managed to acquire such a huge quantity of medicine and how many other employees were involved in the racket.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2015

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