Pakistan province bans 5 ‘alcoholic’ cough syrups over WHO alert

Islamabad, Nov. 18 (EFE).- The government of Pakistan’s Punjab province has banned the production and sale of five “alcoholic” cough syrups after the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an alert following a complaint from the Maldives, officials said Saturday.

The banned cough syrups, manufactured by Lahore-based Pharmix Laboratories (PVT) LTD, were found to contain high levels of alcohol.

“The Punjab government has banned sale of five different cough syrups after WHO’s investigation confirmed the presence of high alcohol content in these syrups,” Sohail Janjua, a spokesperson for the provincial government told EFE.

The official said the banned syrups were being sold in the local market besides being exported to regional countries.

The WHO investigation was initiated as a result of a complaint about these syrups from the Maldives.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has issued a recall of certain batches of liquid preparations due to suspected contamination with diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG).

In September, the Pakistani authorities were forced to ban a drug made by Swiss pharmacist Roche but repackaged in Pakistan, after at least 60 patients from various areas of Punjab went blind after being injected with this medicine.

Between 2022 and 2023, some 300 children died in the Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan allegedly caused by ingesting different cough syrups. EFE


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