In a decisive move, Punjab’s Caretaker Health Minister, Dr. Jamal Nasir, announced a comprehensive crackdown on medical stores throughout the province. The focus is on removing cough syrups from circulation, with allegations that certain companies are not only distributing contaminated products locally but also exporting them internationally. Pharmix Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd of Lahore, for instance, is cited for selling and exporting various syrups in both local and foreign markets.
Dr. Nasir emphasized that stringent actions would be taken against those responsible for damaging the country’s reputation. The initiative extends beyond the borders of Punjab, aiming to ensure the removal of these cough syrups from all medical stores.
Background: Between 2022 and 2023, several countries reported incidents of oral liquid drugs intended for children found to be contaminated with high levels of DEG and EG, leading to severe adverse events and fatalities.
The manufacturing company is directed to immediately recall defective batches from the market. Pharmacists and chemists are advised to check their stocks, cease supplying suspected products, and quarantine remaining stock for return to the supplier/company. DRAP and Provincial Health Departments’ regulatory field forces are informed and directed to increase market surveillance for an effective recall.
DRAP calls for increased vigilance within affected supply chains. Adverse reactions or quality issues with the product should be reported to the National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC), DRAP, using the Adverse Event Reporting Form.