RAMNAGAR INCIDENT

J&K Admn writes to HP Drugs Controller over infant deaths

Seeks evaluation of diethylene glycol in syrup

J&K Admn writes to HP Drugs Controller over infant deaths

Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 17

The cough and cold syrup manufactured by a Himachal Pradesh-based pharmaceutical company is understood to have claimed the lives of 12 infants in the Ramnagar area of Udhampur district last month.


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According to the Drugs and Food Control Organisation, J&K, a team of doctors from the PGI, Chandigarh, has given to understand that diethylene glycol has been found in the pharmaceutical preparation of “Coldbest-PC Syrup”, manufactured by M/s Digital Vision, a pharmaceutical company based in Kala Amb of Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh.

The Drugs and Food Control Organisation, J&K, in a letter written to the State Drugs Controller, Baddi, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, has requested their counterparts to conduct a thorough inspection of the pharmaceutical unit “to evaluate/ascertain the aspect of diethylene glycol impurity as also help effect product recall of the said drug, irrespective of the batch in the larger public interest”.

Yesterday, teams of the State Drugs Controller, Haryana, had reportedly conducted raids at two places in Ambala and seized 300 bottles of “Coldbest-PC Syrup”, which was believed to be responsible for the death of 12 infants in the Ramnagar area. The team of the PGI doctors suggested that the syrup contained diethylene glycol that had led to adverse impact on the kidneys of infants and resulted in their deaths. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had deputed a Central team of experts to investigate the paediatric deaths in Ramnagar. The team comprised Dr Sumit Mehndiratta, specialist (paediatrics) Safdarjung Hospital; Dr Mahesh Waghmare, Deputy Director (microbiology), National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi; Dr Suneet Kaur, Assistant Director (epidemiology) National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi; Dr Shilpa Tomar, microbiologist, NIV, Pune, and Dr Avinash Deoshatwar, epidemiologist, NIV, Pune.

The team had visited the area on January 20. A team of doctors from the PGI, Chandigarh, had also undertaken a visit to look into the probable cause of the infant deaths. There were allegations from some quarters that the infant deaths had taken place due to the administration’s negligence and sought to fix the responsibility in the case.


What the letter says...

The Drugs and Food Control Organisation, J&K, in a letter written to the State Drugs Controller, Baddi, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, has requested their counterparts to conduct a thorough inspection of the pharmaceutical unit "to evaluate/ascertain the aspect of diethylene glycol impurity as also help effect product recall of the said drug, irrespective of the batch in the larger public interest".

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