Islamabad: At least 70 patients at a hospital in Pakistan's Lahore city have died so far from taking substandard medicine, a media report said.

The 70 who died over a period of time were patients at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. The patients were either receiving treatment at the institute or had taken medicines distributed by the institute.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has directed authorities to take action and register cases against three pharmaceutical companies which supplied the medicines.