The withdrawal of the drug thyroxin from pharmacy shelves nine months ago has put at risk hundreds of patients suffering from hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone.
The locally manufactured drug was withdrawn from the market following allegations that it contained low-quality raw materials imported from China and complaints from patients that the drug was ineffective.
“There is a huge need for the drug,” said a senior physician, adding that even expensive brand-name versions of the drug were not available in the market. “Unfortunately, thyroxin is not available even in government hospitals.”
According to the physician, patients suffering from hypothyroidism could develop heart disease, while pregnant mothers with hypothyroidism were at risk of giving premature birth or giving birth to brain-damaged or still-born babies.