Who can bring us out the mess we are in?
In a press conference Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) made startling revelations regarding spurious medicines in the state making the government to reply the next day by stirring the murky spurious drug issue. Presence of substandard medicines in Jammu and Kashmir State, particularly in Kashmir valley is an old story but for the last many years this menace has gone viral and is being run as an organized sector with patronage from well reputable authorities both within the establishment and outside. The mafia of spurious drug industry is running so deep that even the government is unable to check it completely. During the last many months many people were booked for running this shameful trade but the real faces behind the curtain are eluding the rule of law. Spurious drug industry is not run by the suppliers and the deals alone but a reasonable number of medical practitioners (Doctors) and influential people in the health department and other allied departments related to health of the common man are actively involved. With due regards to DAK while spearheading the crusade against the drug mafia they should simultaneously start the cleansing operation within their ranks. They should look for the doctors who are violating the sacred ‘Hippocratic oath’—a solemn promise by every doctor to serve the humanity honestly, sincerely and fairly.
We should appreciate the determined efforts of the DAK and many other civil society people who have been highlighting this menacing practice of deceptive trade against all odds. However, unless the whole society is not made aware of far reaching consequences of unchecked use of substandard medicines nothing substantial can be achieved on this front. The drug mafia is so powerful, well organized and deep-rooted that a handful of supporters cannot check the activities of the mafia; instead only a holistic approach and strategy will get this menace down by some notches. The drug mafia is well aware of the loopholes in our legal system and is using it to the best of their ability. A multi-pronged strategy of making stringent laws and implementing those in letter and spirit will prove effective deterrent in checking this menace. The legal net should cover all; not only the suppliers and the traders as is the practice presently. Suppliers, prescribers and the manufacturers all are equally responsible for slow death and annihilation of mankind and should be dealt and punished severely.
DAK in its earlier briefings and particularly in the recent press conference has given a detailed account of existing scenario of spurious drugs in the state with analytical evidence. Being well aware of finer aspects of the pharmacology, quality control parameters of medicines, toxicity levels and residual effect of drugs DAK is well within its right to comment and make statements on this crucial issue relating to quality health and survival of mankind. However, DAK has not only to maintain its character but demonstrate its credentials of sincerity and impartiality as envisaged in their sanctified ‘Hippocratic oath’.
At the moment no one has any moral entitlement to raise a finger against this sagacious group of scientists with apparent motives of sincerity as they have raised a valid issue related to survival of mankind. Raising an issue and giving a call for revolt against wrong doing in a system emboldened in a web of red-tape and corruption is not easy but it takes a nerve and that is what DAK and some other people are engaged in at the moment. Everyone in the political hierarchy and the bureaucratic structure cannot be blamed for every rot in the system; as such attitude leads to cynicism and bias. And in a healthy society we should not allow preconception to overpower rationale. However, in case of the existing drug scam most of the saner voices within the corridors of power either distanced themselves from the issue or chose to remain silent because of the political compulsions. Sanity demands that we as a society must rise above every consideration and lodge a strong protest against substandard drugs and the mafia controlling it. We need to encourage the voices against spurious drugs and strengthen the hands of individuals and groups spearheading the movement against the killer medicines. Unfortunately! This nation has been drugged with power, materialism, greed, hypocrisy, sycophancy and large doses of corruption to the extent that it is unable to decide between the right and the wrong and is unaware of its imminent doom because of diminishing values. We are desperately in need of a political leader and societal savior who can get us out of deep slumber of insensitivity.