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Tuesday, June 25, 2024  
18 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Pakistan seizes poisonous solvent used in cough syrup

World Health Organization has linked the deaths outside Indonesia to cough syrups made in India

Pakistan has seized a batch of contaminated propylene glycol solvent that was labelled as manufactured by Dow Chemical, Thailand, the nation’s drug regulatory authority said on Thursday.

Dow Chemical, Thailand did not respond to a request for a comment.

The move comes as authorities have identified toxic propylene glycol used in cough syrups as a possible reason for the deaths of more than 300 children in Indonesia, Gambia and Uzbekistan since 2022.

The World Health Organization has linked the deaths outside Indonesia to cough syrups made in India.

Read: Drap alert

“The Regulatory field force has taken possession of a contaminated batch of Propylene Glycol and is investigating the entire supply chain of this batch,” Pakistan’s drug authority said in an alert, ordering the recall from local and export markets of any products manufactured from the same batch of propylene glycol.

“The batch was labelled as manufactured by Dow Chemical, Thailand,” it said.

“On analysis of a sample by the Central Drug Laboratory in Karachi, an unacceptable level of Ethylene Glycol was found,” which can lead to serious health risks, the drug authority said.

It said the Ethylene Glycol’s ingestion can “affect the central nervous system, and heart, and can cause kidney damage, which can be fatal.”

It was not clear whether any amount of the imported chemical was used in local cough syrup.

Also, read this

WHO issues alert after Indian made cough syrups cause deaths

Punjab bans five substandard cough syrups after WHO investigation

WHO probing Indian cough syrup after 66 children die in The Gambia

The drug authority has directed that finished products manufactured from any other batch of propylene glycol from Dow Chemical Thailand to be put on hold.

Drap advised therapeutic goods manufacturers to recall products (if any batch was manufactured using the same lot (C815N30R41) of propylene glycol that has been identified as contaminated and hold all finished products manufactured from any other lot of propylene glycol of Dow Chemical Thailand.

“These products should be tested for EG/DEG contamination before releasing them into the supply chain.”

It has advised the manufacturers to screen raw materials before using them in the manufacturing of oral liquid preparations and analyze finished products before their release into the market.

“Ensure compliance with all directives issued by DRAP to safeguard public health from contaminated products and adhere to the pharmacopoeia monograph and WHO guidelines for testing,” it said.

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cough syrup


Dow Chemical

Ethylene Glycol