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Tuesday, June 25, 2024  
18 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Several patients lose vision after receiving Avastin injection in Punjab’s Burewala

Punjab banned use of the drug until quality check results were obtained
Customers purchase medicines at a pharmacy in Islamabad, Pakistan, on March 23, 2020 - AFP
Customers purchase medicines at a pharmacy in Islamabad, Pakistan, on March 23, 2020 - AFP

At least 10 patients including women lost their eyesight after they were administered Avastin injections to address retinal damage in Punjab’s Burewala.

Dr. Sajjad said that the affected patients included six women and four men who where were injected with Avastin to treat diabetic eye disease. The patients were referred to the hospitals in Lahore for treatment, however, there are slim chances of the patients to regain visibility, he added.

He went on to add that pre-filled injections were ordered from Lahore and Karachi to lower the cost of administering the injection.

The interim Punjab government on, September 24, imposed a two-week ban on the sale and usage of the injection until quality check results were obtained.

“Government of Punjab to provide free treatment to all patients,” caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday.

The decision came amid media reports that diabetic patients in Lahore, Kasur, and Jhang districts were administered Avastin injections to address retinal damage.

However, such injections led to severe infections among patients, including the brother of senior PPP leader Chaudhry Manzoor and his friend. They were reported to have a loss of eyesight.

On September 23, caretaker Health Minister Nadeem Jan said that the injection that caused a loss of vision in several users was recalled.

“The injection in question had been recalled from the market, and selling it was no longer permitted,” he said in a press conference in Islamabad. “The supplier [of the injections], two men, a first information report (FIR) has been registered against them and a legal inquiry has been initiated.”

Avastin is a drug used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic eye disease, and other problems of the retina, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

It is injected into the eye to help slow vision loss from these diseases.

The common side effects of the drug include eye redness, feeling like something in the eye, dry or itchy eyes, eye discomfort, temporary blurry vision, and floaters.

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