- Web Desk
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DRAP orders urgent recall of ‘toxic’ syrups
- Web Desk
- Jan 31, 2024
ISLAMABAD: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has issued a directive for the immediate recall of nine syrups deemed ‘poisonous’ due to contamination, Dawn News reported on Wednesday quoting the authority’s CEO Dr Asim Rauf.
Over the last two months, DRAP has identified seven pharmaceutical companies engaged in the production of syrups containing elevated levels of Propylene Glycol (PG), a substance strictly prohibited. Dr Asim disclosed that an additional nine syrups from five different pharmaceutical companies were found to be contaminated, bringing the total number of implicated companies to seven.
The affected syrups, manufactured by PDH Pharma, Raazee Therapeutics, Siza International, and others, include Allerphene, Zevirol, Texcol DM, Texcol EX, Virol, Torax DM, Bronyl, and Speczine.
A recent batch of PG imported from a Thailand-based company was seized by the regulator after detecting impurities. The acceptable impurity level in PG excipient, commonly used in cough syrups, is 1.1 per cent. However, the batch from Thailand’s Dow Chemical exhibited an alarming impurity level of 25 per cent, posing the risk of multiple organ failure.
DRAP’s document warns that upon ingestion, PG impurities, also known as ethylene glycol (EG), transform into toxins impacting the central nervous system and heart, potentially causing fatal kidney damage.
This development follows a global embarrassment for Pakistan in December 2023 when the Maldives reported contamination in medicines imported from the country. The South Asian nation asserted that substances found in the syrups were typically used in hydraulic brake fluids, stamp pad inks, paints, plastics, and cosmetics. In response, the World Health Organisation issued an alert regarding the products of Lahore-based pharmaceutical company Pharmix Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd.