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Contamination Concerns Surround Pakistani Pharmaceuticals; WHO Issues Alert

Following the revelation, WHO issued an alert encouraging countries to increase vigilance and examine Pharmix Laboratories goods.

Maldives has reported contamination in syrups and suspension medicines manufactured by Lahore-based pharmaceutical company Pharmix Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd. 

The substances found in the products are commonly used in hydraulic brake fluids, stamp pad inks, paints, plastics, and cosmetics.

WHO Urges Vigilance and Testing:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has given an alert following the report, urging countries to increase vigilance and test products from Pharmix Laboratories. The alert was prompted by information from Maldives, where contamination was initially detected.

Drap Seals Pharmix Laboratories Syrup Section:

Upon receiving the information, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) sealed the syrup section of Pharmix Laboratories. Legal action may be initiated pending lab test reports. 

The affected substances were used in several products, raising concerns about potential health risks.

Contaminated Products Named:

The WHO’s medical product alert identified five affected products: Alergo Syrup, Emidone Suspension, Mucorid Syrup, Ulcofin Suspension, and Zincell Syrup.

A total of 23 batches from Pharmix Laboratories were flagged. The contamination was first detected in Maldives and Pakistan, with subsequent reports in Belize, Fiji, and Laos.

A representative from Pharmix Laboratories confirmed the sealing of the syrup section by Drap but did not comment further on the issue. The company may face legal consequences pending the outcome of lab tests.

DEG and EG Contamination:

The contamination involves diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG), substances commonly used in antifreeze, hydraulic brake fluids, stamp pad inks, ballpoint pens, solvents, paints, plastics, films, and cosmetics.

Drap CEO’s Statement:

Drap CEO Asim Rauf stated that the Lahore-based company manufactured its products in 2021 before the issuance of protocols. 

Contamination was found in some batches in the Maldives and within Pakistan. All syrups from the company have been recalled, and the syrup section sealed, with additional samples sent for further testing.

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