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WHO lauds DRAP for effective regulatory action against contaminated liquid medicines

December 10, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has praised the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) for ‘commendable regulatory action’ in recalling entire batches of contaminated cough syrups and closing down the syrup section of local pharmaceutical company which manufactured and exported the adulterated products to different countries.

“Thank you DRAP, Pakistan for commendable regulatory action regarding the recall of contaminated cough syrups. Fortunately, no recorded casualties this time. Effective regulatory collaboration at play,” Rutendo Kuwana Team Lead, Incidents and Substandard/falsified medical products at the WHO said in his message on the microblogging platform X.

A sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) at their headquarters in Geneva. — AFP/File
A sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) at their headquarters in Geneva. — AFP/File

Following a global medical products alert by the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding the contaminated cough syrups produced by a Pakistani company, the DRAP had recalled all the batches of liquid medicine and sent the samples for the detection of Ethylene Glycol and Dietheylene Glycol.

In its medical alert, the WHO had said that five different syrup and suspension medicines were initially detected in Maldives and Pakistan and notified to WHO on November 8, 2023, adding that some of the affected products have also been detected in Belize, Fiji and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

“The five products are ALERGO Syrup, EMIDONE Suspension, MUCORID Syrup, ULCOFIN Suspension and ZINCELL Syrup. A total of 23 batches of these products are affected. The stated manufacturer of all the affected products was Pharmix Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd. Pakistan,” the WHO alert said.

DRAP officials said they were trying to improve surveillance and promote good manufacturing practices by the local pharmaceutical industry to ensure safety of the patients and vowed to take strict regulatory and legal action against companies endangering lives of the people.

“Report from the Central Drug Testing Lab is expected in coming week and if any contamination is found in the medicines produced by the local pharmaceutical company, criminal proceedings would be initiated against the culprits,” an official of the DRAP said.

The drug regulatory authority official said they had already closed down the syrup section of the pharmaceutical company, whose products were found to be adulterated and added that no liquid product of the company was available in the markets anywhere in the country and rest of the world.