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Spurious cough syrups: Companies' fate to be decided after report from UK lab: National Assembly body

A parliamentary panel on Thursday said that fate of the two drug companies allegedly involved in manufacturing of spurious cough syrups in Punjab would be decided after receiving lab report from the MHRA Labs, UK.

The committee while reviewing the laboratory reports presented by the Punjab government and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) about the raw material imported from India and used in the manufacturing of the syrups (Tyno and Dextromethorphan and Cocil) said that the reports contradicts each other, so it was not possible to pass any remark before reviewing the reports of foreign lab. The committee asked the Federal and provincial governments to investigate the matter jointly for digging out the facts.

However, the laboratory report submitted by the Punjab clearly established that M/s Recko Pharmacal Lahore and M/s Ethical laboratories Lahore imported sub-standard raw material form India while the DRAP reports states the raw material was not sub-standard.

The committee, which met here with Muhammad Usman Advocate in the chair, was briefed by the Punjab government's health department and the Ministry of National Regulation and Services on "Tyno Cough Syrup" which claimed several lives in Punjab.

Special Secretary, Punjab Health Department, Baber Hayat Tarar while briefing the committee, said that report of Drug Testing Laboratory Lahore indicated use of sub standard raw material in manufacturing of the syrups namely (Tyno, Dextromethorphan and Cocil). On the basis of the evidences it was established that M/s Ethical Laboratories and M/s Reko Pharmacal (Pvt) Ltd have procured the raw material from the same source (M/s Konduskar Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd, MIDC-India).

He said that the Health Department also approached Forensic Science Agency, National Institute of Biological Genetic Engineering, Faisalabad, HEJ Institute of Chemistry, Karachi for the detection of possible contamination of active or inactive ingredients and separation of isomers in the Dextromethorphan HBr raw material. The samples of cough syrups and Active Pharmaceutical Raw Material have been sent to MHRA Labs, UK for further analysis, he added.

Subsequently, the drug inspectors on the direction of the provincial government recovered around 28,349 bottles of the syrups manufactured by the M/s Reko Pharmacal Lahore and also seized 27,104 bottles of Dextromethorphan manufactured by the M/s Ethical Laboratories from market.

Rejecting the report presented by the Special Secretary Punjab Health Department , Dr Abdul Rasheed, a member of the DRAP, informed the committee that the Central Drugs Testing Laboratory, Karachi declared 'Tyno Syrup" manufactured by the Ms Reko Pharmacal Ltd Lahore of standard quality after initial probe of the samples.

About the Dextromethorphan and Cocil cough syrups manufactured by the M/s Ethical Laboratories, he said that the federal drugs inspectors drew samples of the suspected syrups from the premises of the firm and the laboratory reports were still awaited. The syrups section and suspected raw material of the firm was sealed by the provincial drug inspectors.

Federal Minister for National Regulation and Services, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, proposed that four member committee comprising federal and provincial members must be constituted to investigate the matter. She further proposed that a permanent co-ordinating body in each province be set-up for dealing with such incident in future. She proposed that a qualified pharmacist must be appointed by each store.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013



 





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