The caretaker Punjab government on Sunday banned the sales and usage of locally manufactured injection, Avastin for two weeks after reports emerged that it had caused severe eye infections as well as loss of vision in several patients in the province.

It was reported that some diabetic patients in Lahore, Kasur, and Jhang districts contracted severe eye infections after the use of Avastin injections, which resulted in the loss of eyesight of 12 among them.

Diabetic patients use Avastin to treat retinal damage.

Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi in a post on X (formerly Twitter) informed that he had held a crucial meeting with Health department and doctors to address Avastin (Bevacizumab)-related blindness cases.

He also shared an action plan, which included a 2-week ban on Avastin sales and usage for ophthalmology related treatments until quality check results were obtained.

“Immediate strict action [will be taken] against drug inspectors responsible for availability of non-sterile injections with a pending inquiry,” he said.

Naqvi also announced that the provincial government would provide free treatment to all the affected patients, along with formation of a high-powered inquiry team for swift investigation.

“Police [has been] instructed to ensure the arrests of those responsible,” he said.

On Saturday, the interim Punjab government had established a five-member committee to investigate the reported cases of patients experiencing vision loss after purportedly receiving the locally produced Avastin injections at various hospitals in the province.

Earlier the same day, Caretaker Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan informed that the particular injection had been recalled from the market, with registration of a case against the suppliers.

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